Molly Harbron is now reliant on a prosthetic leg and a wheelchair after she lost her leg in April 2020 after medics failed to act quickly enough, causing a 16-hour delay in treatment for a blood clot
A 25-year-old carer had her leg amputated after doctors took too long to treat a “tingling sensation” during lockdown.
Molly Harbron is now reliant on a prosthetic leg and a wheelchair after she lost her leg in April 2020 after medics failed to act quickly enough, causing a 16-hour delay in treatment for a blood clot. She said she was left feeling that “life wasn’t worth living” after she awoke from surgery to a missing limb, but has since defied the odds and walked down the aisle three years later.
Molly, who is now seeking compensation for her rehabilitation, was 22 when she went to Dewsbury and District Hospital’s A&E department at around 11:30am on April 25, 2020. She was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening complication, and admitted to the ward just after 7:30pm.
But around 30 minutes later, following a review, it was suspected she had a deep vein thrombosis. Following a further review, medics were concerned about reduced blood flow to her lower left leg and called another hospital for an opinion. A radiology report at 11:30pm suggested Molly had blood clots and a blocked artery behind her left knee.
She was eventually transferred to another hospital and was in theatre for surgery just after 1:30pm on April 26, more than 16 hours later. Surgeons could not restore blood flow to her lower left leg, and after first undergoing a below-the-knee amputation, they removed more of her limb above her knee days later. Molly spent a further 18 days in hospital and had to give up her job as a carer.
Speaking of her ordeal for the first time, Molly, from Batley, West Yorks., said: “Before all this, I was extremely active. I worked in a quite physically demanding job and enjoyed going out with my friends, shopping and all of the things people my age do. However, that’s all completely gone. It’s sometimes difficult to find the words to describe how my life has changed.
“It’s not just the physical injuries which have been hard to come to terms with but also the psychological impact. I went from being quite independent to being reliant on others. I do have a prosthetic leg but it’s not specifically designed for me. I suffer walking any kind of distance and I suffer with pain when using it so I tend to use a wheelchair. This never should have happened so I just hope that by speaking out I can prevent it happening to someone else.”
Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, which runs Dewsbury and District Hospital, later admitted a breach of duty and apologised to Molly. If it was not for the breach of duty, Molly would have undergone surgery by 9pm on the day she attended hospital. On the balance of probabilities, the surgery would have been successful and would have avoided the need for both the below and above-knee amputation, the Trust admitted.
Molly instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under the Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust. They are now working to agree on a settlement, which will fund the lifetime therapies, to support and rehabilitation Molly requires. Molly’s lawyer Ashlee Coates, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The last few years and coming to terms with the avoidable and life-changing consequences of Molly’s amputation have understandably been extremely difficult for her and her family.
“What happened to her vividly highlights the repercussions of what can happen when patient care falls below expected standards. While nothing can make up for the physical and psychological trauma Molly has experienced, we’re determined to ensure she can access the specialist care and therapies she needs to continue her recovery and live as independently as possible. In the meantime it’s vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety for others.”
Richard Robinson, Chief Medical Officer at the Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, admitted they needed to “get better”. He said: “We aim to ensure all patients get the right diagnosis and the treatment they need to get better. In Mrs Harbron’s case that did not happen and for that I am sincerely sorry.”