Man who lost most of his penis to flesh-eating bug wins six-figure hospital payout

Andrew Lane said he was left in 'constant pain'. Pic: Slater and Gordon
Andrew Lane said he was left in 'constant pain'. Pic: Slater and Gordon

A cancer patient who was left with just an inch-and-a-half of his penis after he contracted a flesh-eating superbug while undergoing a routine operation has received a six-figure payout.

The potentially fatal infection - necrotising fasciitis - left Andrew Lane in "constant pain" after having an operation to remove his prostate gland in March 2013.

The 63-year-old's bowel was punctured during the procedure but the injury was only picked up six days later, according to his lawyer.

Mr Lane, who had been admitted to Southend Hospital in Essex, was rushed to theatre but he had already lost most of his penis.

The patient, from Thurrock, Essex, also had to have tissue from his stomach, which had become contaminated, removed. He said it left him looking "nine months pregnant".

Law firm Slater and Gordon said Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust admitted a delay in diagnosing their client's condition and that the case was settled in July for an undisclosed sum.

Mr Lane said: "They've admitted their mistake, but I've not had an apology and knowing that just a scan a few days earlier would have prevented all of this is very difficult to accept.

"I've been compensated, but I'll never get my health back and I just want other people to be aware of how dangerous this flesh-eating bug is.

"If you don't feel you are getting the right treatment, you have got to speak out."

Mr Lane, who now works as a carer, said his ordeal left him feeling "less of a man", with him no longer able to have sex. He is also incontinent and has been treated for depression.

He said: "My wife Sue and I have been together for 18 years and enjoyed a healthy sex life, but since this happened that has been impossible.

"The desire is still there, but the little that's left just doesn't function anymore.

"It's been a difficult thing to come to terms with for both of us. I know Sue still loves me, but I do feel less of a man."

Mr Lane said he could no longer "bear to look in the mirror" following the operation.

"Because I have no muscle tissue my intestines just hang out and I look like I'm nine months pregnant," he said. "I'm at greater risk of hernias and I have two so I'm in constant pain.

"I used to be sporty and proud of my body, but now I can't bear to look in the mirror."

Director of nursing at Southend University Hospital, Denise Townsend, said: "I can confirm that the trust is in communication with Mr Lane regarding his case, a settlement sum has been agreed and that the trust has admitted failures in relation to delays in Mr Lane's diagnosis."

Lawyer Tom Spearpoint said Mr Lane had shown "incredible strength" in speaking out and raising awareness of the potentially life-threatening infection.

He added: "The impact has been devastating, both physically and emotionally, but the trust's admissions have at least given him some closure and the means to get the care and support that he needs to move on with his life."

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