Friday 22 November 2019

Patient whose cancer was missed has 'put up a hell of a fight' - family

Wexford General Hospital
Wexford General Hospital

The daughter of a man whose cancer was missed at Wexford General Hospital has told how he has had a "hell of a fight" since he was finally diagnosed with the disease.

Dee Fitzpatrick's father Pat (72) is one of 13 patients whose bowel cancer was missed at the hospital. The patients - one of whom has died - underwent colonoscopies at Wexford General Hospital and were later found to have the disease.

All had been referred under the free BowelScreen programme for people aged 60 to 69.

Ms Fitzpatrick, from Wexford, said her dad had an examination at the hospital (above) in February 2013, and began to feel unwell two years later.

He was contacted and asked to go for a repeat colonoscopy, which was paid for in St Vincent's Hospital. This test confirmed he had bowel cancer.

Dee said yesterday her father has "fought one hell of a fight".

He has suffered four episodes of pneumonia, three cardiac arrests and now has cancer in his brain.

"He has been through a very difficult two years," she said. The family continues to question what her father's health would be like if the cancer was detected earlier.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that a hospital consultant who carried out the tests on the 13 patients remains on paid leave two years after the case became public.


A HSE review said the cancers were probably missed, although this was disputed by the consultant who conducted all tests and went on voluntary leave.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said the consultant has given an undertaking not to do colonoscopies elsewhere and he was now engaged in a formal human resources process. The incident has been referred to the Medical Council, she said.

A BowelScreen spokeswoman said yesterday no other missed cancers have been reported.

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