A GRANDMOTHER has described her seven-year “nightmare” after a botched hip operation left her right foot pointing 90 degrees in the wrong direction.
Brenda Gorst, 73, also contracted a life-threatening infection and was left with a leg four inches shorter following a series of blunders.
She has undergone seven major operations trying to correct the problems and faces another procedure to rebuild her leg bone and pelvis.
Ms Gorst, of Newton-le-Willows, who had been living in Clwyd, North Wales, at the time, has been awarded £250,000 in damages after winning a legal battle with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
After suffering pains in her hips in her 60s she went for a scan which showed wear and tear on her bones.
In October 2007 she underwent hip surgery hoping it would enable her to remain active.
“When I woke up my leg was black and I was in agony. It was bruised from tip to toe and it took some time for me to realise something had gone badly wrong.”
She had three more operations in an attempt to ease the pain. Following a procedure to tighten the hip joint she contracted an antibiotic resistant infection.
She said: “After the second operation it became obvious that my right foot had started to point east.”
Eventually her consultant sent her for a second opinion.
She added: “My leg is now virtually useless. I’ve gone from someone who was active and able to cope with the pain in my joints to someone who is in constant agony and unable to do many of the things I used to take for granted.”
Surgeons removed the hip replacement and fused the leg bone to the pelvis shortening it by four inches in a bid to reduce the pain and give her some very limited mobility.
Ms Gorst’s clinical negligence lawyer, Daniel Lee of Slater & Gordon, said: “Her treatment fell dangerously short of even basic medical standards.”
Prof Matthew Makin, executive medical director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “On behalf of the health board, I am sorry that the care Mrs Gorst received at the time fell short of the standards she deserved.
“I am also sorry for the distress this has caused to Mrs Gorst and acknowledge that this has been a very difficult time for her.”