A Birmingham vicar has been awarded a “substantial” payout after a consultant missed a brain tumour and it grew to the size of a large lemon.
Reverend Adrian Underwood, 42, from Selly Oak, was wrongly told he had a migraine when he visited Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre because a specialist failed to look at his CT scan results, which clearly showed a dangerous tumour growing on the right side of his brain.
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability and has now made the out-of-court settlement.
The tumour continued to expand for another four years causing headaches, blurred vision and hallucinations while the vicar worked as assistant curate at Sparkhill’s St Bede’s Church.
When the pain became unbearable, he went to Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, where the tumour was detected. He underwent a life-saving operation at Edgbaston’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Although the tumour was benign, extensive surgery and an infection left the active curate, who competed in marathons and triathalons, partly disabled in 2005.
“I would call on the Nottingham Trust to take note of how I have suffered and hope it learns lessons so that no-one else has to undergo what my family and I have endured,” said the Rev Underwood, who was studying for a Masters in theology in Nottingham when he became ill.
“I owe my life to the staff at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre and the QE Hospital in Birmingham who diagnosed the tumour.
“Without their expertise, dedication, hard work and good humour in the face of extreme difficulties I certainly wouldn’t have made it through this ordeal.”
Solicitor Guy Forster, of legal firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “Despite the fact a brain tumour had been identified, it seems Mr Underwood’s records were subsequently filed and he was not made aware of the growth on his brain.
“As a consequence of the extensive surgery, Mr Underwood unfortunately developed an infection and suffered a seizure which has permanently reduced his mobility.
“He had been an active individual, so this was yet another cruel blow, added to which, his ill health meant he had to retire from his job with the Church.
“Had his tumour been treated in 2001 it is likely he would not have required such drastic surgery and he would have made a full recovery.”
Dr Stephen Fowlie, medical director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I wish to reiterate the hospital’s apologies to Mr Underwood and his family for shortcomings in the care he received in 2000.
"The delay in diagnosis and treatment of Mr Underwood’s condition should not have occurred. We appreciate the distress and anxiety we have caused Mr Underwood and his family. We hope that the compensation agreed will provide Mr Underwood some security for his future.”