West Lothian mum hits out at NHS Lothian after 'medical blunder' in hospital

Aggie and Adam in hospital
Aggie and Adam in hospital -Credit:Aggie Tymicz

A mum from West Lothian say she has 'lost trust' in the NHS after claiming a piece of medical equipment was found in her son's foot.

Aggie Tymicz, 43, told how 10-year-old Adam has spent two weeks in hospital after a piece of rod used to drain his wound was found under his skin.

Adam suffered a minor football injury last month when another player accidentally stepped on his right foot. For the first week, there appeared to be no damage - only for his limb to start to swelling to 'double its size'. After trips back and forth between a GP and St John's Hospital, Adam was put on antibiotics yet the swelling and pain continued.

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After an ultrasound at St John's, Adam was urgently sent to The Royal Hospital for Sick Children on April 15 where he was diagnosed with an infected blood clot.

Aggie spoke of her anguish at how distressed her son became every time blood was taken or cannulas had to be inserted. She reached her breaking point when, she claims, a piece of old 'rod' was found in the wound on April 23.

Speaking to Edinburgh Live, Aggie said: "Adam was in so much pain. Before we came to Sick Kids, he was off school because he couldn't walk or even put any shoes on his right foot. It had doubled in size.

"We phoned NHS 24 and went to our GP on March 8. On the 19th, Adam got an X-ray and we were told there were no broken bones. We put a cold compress on it and kept it elevated, as instructed. But the pain and swelling didn't go.

Aggie and Adam in hospital
Adam's foot swelled after a football injury

"We went back to St John's where they did the ultrasound and that's when Adam was urgently referred to Sick Kids with an infected blood clot. I had been taking photos of the wound each week too. Part of the skin on the foot was peeling and then became red, like there was an infection.

"When we got to the hospital on the 15th, the doctors needed to take his blood and give Adam a cannula for a drip. He was very distressed and was screaming in pain. I don't feel like the doctors understood how much pain he was in. They are not in his body, they don't know his pain.

"The next day he went for surgery and on the 18th the draining rod was removed from the wound, or so we thought."

However, Aggie said that night Adam became unwell with an urine infection. After a round of antibiotics, the young lad was discharged on April 21.

"They wanted to give him another drip for antibiotics for the UTI but he was begging and screaming at me not to let them do it. I asked if we could give him tablets instead. He was so distressed," Aggie said.

"I eventually convinced Adam to let them give him a drip and the doctor frightened us when he mentioned there was risk of sepsis. But then it turned out they didn't couldn't find the antibiotics they needed so they gave him them in tablet form anyway. He was sent home the next day."

Sadly this wasn't the end to Adam's stay in the hospital. On the following day, Adam's fever spiked and a rash was spreading up his right leg. He was once again admitted to the hospital and on inspection of the wound to his right foot, on April 23, Aggie said that a piece of the old rod, inserted the week before, was found.

She added: "The tissue viability nurse came to look at the wound, even though other medics had checked on it numerous times before and found a piece of an old rod in his foot. That would have been from April 16 when they had drained it.

"I have lost all my trust in the NHS," Aggie said. "I feel like I can't do anything to help him and there has been a complete lack of care. The doctors tell me I'm there to comfort Adam but I feel like I need to watch over them. There has been so much miscommunication during his stay. Nurses have come up and said they need to take bloods or a swab when it's already been done not long before.

"Adam is so scared and I get told to 'go home and rest' but when I go home I cry because I can't cry in front of him. I can't help him and it's too much for me. He's not drinking, not eating because he just wants to come home. I see him in pain and screaming. He's traumatised.

"My daughter, Adam's sister has said she has nightmares of him dying. I have had to take time off work so I can be with Adam, and I'm self-employed so I'm losing work."

Aggie added: "This week he is in hospital again and it's their fault because they left a bit of that rod in there."

Adam has since had an MRI scan and surgery to rise and drain the original wound. However, he is still in hospital and his temperature has rocketed. Aggie said that he is on more antibiotics but feels like she is 'stuck in limbo' waiting for results.

She added on Monday: "I'm worried this infection will spread to other lymph nodes and we will need another surgery."

Dr Tracey Gillies, Medical Director, NHS Lothian said: “We apologise to Adam and his family for any distress they have experienced.

“Treating an infection isn’t always a simple or immediate process and may require a range of clinical interventions depending on the circumstances. We would urge the Tymicz family to contact us directly to discuss their concerns or questions.”