16th April 2020 –
We represent Mr W, whose wife, Mrs W, tragically took her own life in June 2017.
This followed Surgery, over two years previously, in April 2015, undertaken privately by Consultant Colorectal Surgeon Mr Deya Marzouk.
Mrs W had a long, well established, and clearly documented history of presenting with abdominal pain and other health problems, thought to be somatic in origin.
She was referred to Mr Marzouk late in 2014, in relation to rectal pain and ongoing abdominal pain. When he saw her, in November 2014, he diagnosed a rectal prolapse upon digital examination alone.
When conservative treatment was reported not to have brought relief, as of February 2015, he advised and progressed to a Hartmann’s procedure, leaving Mrs W with a permanent stoma.
He carried this out on a private basis early in April 2015.
The cost exhausted the life savings of Mr and Mrs W.
The procedure did not bring any lasting relief and caused Mrs W untold anguish and despair, particularly the fact that she was left with a permanent stoma.
We represented Mr W throughout protracted Inquest proceedings, in the course of which we persuaded the Coroner to investigate the events leading up to and at the time of the operation. Also to have Mr Marzouk made an interested party to the proceedings.
It was never Mr W’s case that the procedure was carried out negligently in any way at all.
Rather it was an inappropriate procedure, given his wife’s medical history, and she was not consented for it adequately or at all.
She should have been conservatively treated and referred for specialist counselling.
Ultimately, following the Inquest, which involved our securing important medical evidence and testimony through the proceedings, we instructed a colorectal expert who confirmed that there was a case to take forward in negligence.
We followed this with a detailed Letter of Claim.
Mr Marzouk’s Medical Defence Union did not actually respond to the letter, under the Pre – Action Protocol, but did engage constructively in pre issue negotiations.
These resulted in a settlement, ultimately, without Court proceedings being necessary.
Nick Fairweather, who represented Mr W throughout the case, commented as follows:- “This was a tragic case. Mrs W was an extremely vulnerable woman and it simply beggars belief that an operation of this magnitude, with all its implications, was proceeded with, set against her vivid and well recorded medical history. The case raises all manner of issues about consent and the transfer of communication across NHS to private records. Mr W knew that this operation should never have taken place and what misery it caused his wife and I am pleased that he has had the strength and determination to take forward this case on her behalf to a successful conclusion ultimately. No amount of money can bring Mrs W back and the damages secured are not substantial, but more importantly Mr W has got justice and I pay tribute to him for everything that he has done for his late wife. I think that she would be very proud of him”.