Blind Hampshire artist Julie Coakley claims GP Dr Henrietta Rosie failed to spot a 'catastrophic' bout of meningitis that nearly killed her

Julie Coakley has launched a £1m High Court battle against a GP she claims 'failed to spot' her meningitis

Julie Coakley has launched a £1m High Court battle against a GP she claims 'failed to spot' her meningitis

First published in News
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A HAMPSHIRE artist left blind after a “catastrophic” bout of meningitis which nearly killed her has launched a £1m High Court battle against the GP she claims failed to spot her illness.

Julie Coakley collapsed at her home in January 2008, then plunged into a deep coma during which her family were warned to “expect the worst”.

The court heard how the 48-year-old survived but with "severe disabilities including total blindness, partial deafness, balance problems and a facial palsy”.

Mrs Coakley, attending court flanked by her husband and guide dog Otis, is suing Dr Henrietta Rosie, who saw her at a doctors surgery near Winchester at the time.

The court was told how, despite a crushing headache, the 48-year-old drove to the surgery where the GP examined her throat, glands, neck and chest, diagnosed an upper respiratory infection and prescribed "bed rest and plenty of fluids".

Daily Echo:

Gratton Surgery, in Sutton Scotney, near Winchester, where Dr Rosie worked

Mrs Coakley, of Goldfinch Way, South Wonston, claims a vivid rash - a telltale sign of potentially deadly meningococcal meningitis - had spread over parts of her body which Dr Rosie looked at but didn't inspect closely with her finger tips.

Mrs Coakley managed to drive back home after her appointment but, five hours later, husband David found her collapsed and unconscious in her bedroom.

She received her first dose of penicillin around 11pm that night, the court heard, but by that time had already lapsed into a deep coma.

The court was told how the mother-of-two described herself as haunted by the rash's "vivid port red colour" because it was the last thing she ever saw.

The High Court was told how Mrs Coakley is suing the doctor, who practised at the Gratton Surgery, Sutton Scotney, "for failing to examine her rash properly and treat her with antibiotics which she alleges would have prevented her disabilities".

The court heard how Dr Rosie denies liability, maintaining she carried out a comprehensive examination and that her patient showed no obvious signs of meningitis at the time.

The GP insists that the rash had no identifiable link to meningitis, also disputing that it appeared as Mrs Coakley describes it.

Her lawyers are adamant her diagnosis made "no difference to the outcome".

In an Echo interview before the trial Mrs Coakley told how she became ill during the final year of her course at Farnham University College of Creative Arts.

She went on to gain a First Class degree in 3D design but feels she has never achieved her potential as an artist.

“For an artist to lose their sight is horrifying,” she said.

“I would rather have lost my limbs and lived my life in a wheelchair. For weeks I couldn't even say the word 'blind', I'd just say I can't see.

“I kept trying to look at objects I knew were there. I would hold a cup and stare at it, but see only darkness.”

The case is due to last for two weeks.

Comments (12)

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6:40am Thu 3 Apr 14

bigfella777 says...

Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service? bigfella777
  • Score: 13

8:02am Thu 3 Apr 14

Charlie Bucket says...

bigfella777 wrote:
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service?[/p][/quote]She's suing her doctor, not the NHS. Charlie Bucket
  • Score: -2

8:07am Thu 3 Apr 14

wwozzer says...

The NHS saved her life and no doubt helped her massively in her recovery ane this is the thanks they get?

Sometimes you've just got to play with the hand you've been dealt and thank god you're still alive. There are people a lot worse off through no fault of their own yet they don't seek financial retribution.
The NHS saved her life and no doubt helped her massively in her recovery ane this is the thanks they get? Sometimes you've just got to play with the hand you've been dealt and thank god you're still alive. There are people a lot worse off through no fault of their own yet they don't seek financial retribution. wwozzer
  • Score: 12

9:19am Thu 3 Apr 14

skeptik says...

We all of us can look back at mistakes we have made, some of us were lucky in that we had men under command and as luck would have it picked the right decision - professional judgement? Of course, but even that has to pray that lady luck is with you. We appear to have it in our minds that the medical profession - god like, are above this, problem is when folk fear making decisions - they will not make any, especially when tired or overworked. Many see a doctors surgery times and think that is it -few hours a day easy life. With visits and red tape - I'll wager it is not.
We all of us can look back at mistakes we have made, some of us were lucky in that we had men under command and as luck would have it picked the right decision - professional judgement? Of course, but even that has to pray that lady luck is with you. We appear to have it in our minds that the medical profession - god like, are above this, problem is when folk fear making decisions - they will not make any, especially when tired or overworked. Many see a doctors surgery times and think that is it -few hours a day easy life. With visits and red tape - I'll wager it is not. skeptik
  • Score: 5

9:41am Thu 3 Apr 14

THEKILLER says...

Charlie Bucket wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.
Yes but if she wins the money will come from the NHS (i doubt if the doctor has £1 million under the bed!)
[quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service?[/p][/quote]She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.[/p][/quote]Yes but if she wins the money will come from the NHS (i doubt if the doctor has £1 million under the bed!) THEKILLER
  • Score: 0

9:59am Thu 3 Apr 14

House Sparrow says...

THEKILLER wrote:
Charlie Bucket wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.
Yes but if she wins the money will come from the NHS (i doubt if the doctor has £1 million under the bed!)
If an award for damages is made, it will be the doctor's malpractice insurance that will pay the £1 000 000.
[quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service?[/p][/quote]She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.[/p][/quote]Yes but if she wins the money will come from the NHS (i doubt if the doctor has £1 million under the bed!)[/p][/quote]If an award for damages is made, it will be the doctor's malpractice insurance that will pay the £1 000 000. House Sparrow
  • Score: 7

10:15am Thu 3 Apr 14

Bobs Your Uncle ? says...

bigfella777 wrote:
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
Free service ? Pure total garbage ,no one pays national insurance or taxed till the pips sqeaks do they ?
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service?[/p][/quote]Free service ? Pure total garbage ,no one pays national insurance or taxed till the pips sqeaks do they ? Bobs Your Uncle ?
  • Score: 3

2:27pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Charlie Bucket says...

THEKILLER wrote:
Charlie Bucket wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.
Yes but if she wins the money will come from the NHS (i doubt if the doctor has £1 million under the bed!)
He's insured.
[quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service?[/p][/quote]She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.[/p][/quote]Yes but if she wins the money will come from the NHS (i doubt if the doctor has £1 million under the bed!)[/p][/quote]He's insured. Charlie Bucket
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Charlie Bucket says...

Charlie Bucket wrote:
THEKILLER wrote:
Charlie Bucket wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.
Yes but if she wins the money will come from the NHS (i doubt if the doctor has £1 million under the bed!)
He's insured.
*she
[quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]THEKILLER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service?[/p][/quote]She's suing her doctor, not the NHS.[/p][/quote]Yes but if she wins the money will come from the NHS (i doubt if the doctor has £1 million under the bed!)[/p][/quote]He's insured.[/p][/quote]*she Charlie Bucket
  • Score: 4

2:29pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Charlie Bucket says...

Bobs Your Uncle ? wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
Free service ? Pure total garbage ,no one pays national insurance or taxed till the pips sqeaks do they ?
Don't worry about it, it's evident from most of the posts here that the majority of Echo readers haven't the faintest idea how the system they exist under actually functions. Most of them probably move their lips while they read.
[quote][p][bold]Bobs Your Uncle ?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service?[/p][/quote]Free service ? Pure total garbage ,no one pays national insurance or taxed till the pips sqeaks do they ?[/p][/quote]Don't worry about it, it's evident from most of the posts here that the majority of Echo readers haven't the faintest idea how the system they exist under actually functions. Most of them probably move their lips while they read. Charlie Bucket
  • Score: 7

8:39pm Thu 3 Apr 14

wwozzer says...

Charlie Bucket wrote:
Bobs Your Uncle ? wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No.
Why do people expect so much from a free service?
Free service ? Pure total garbage ,no one pays national insurance or taxed till the pips sqeaks do they ?
Don't worry about it, it's evident from most of the posts here that the majority of Echo readers haven't the faintest idea how the system they exist under actually functions. Most of them probably move their lips while they read.
So because you know about GP malpractice cover that makes you an authority qualified to disparage other peoples opinions does it?

Yes the GP will be insured as are all GP's but has it occurred to you that if this case goes against the GP her insurance will rocket, that's if one of the big three will even touch her. There will be an ultimate cost.
[quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bobs Your Uncle ?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Shame on anyone who sues the NHS. It just makes the problems worse. Maybe different for a child who needs a lifetime of care. Why so much money? Does a soldier coming home with no legs get a million pound? No. Why do people expect so much from a free service?[/p][/quote]Free service ? Pure total garbage ,no one pays national insurance or taxed till the pips sqeaks do they ?[/p][/quote]Don't worry about it, it's evident from most of the posts here that the majority of Echo readers haven't the faintest idea how the system they exist under actually functions. Most of them probably move their lips while they read.[/p][/quote]So because you know about GP malpractice cover that makes you an authority qualified to disparage other peoples opinions does it? Yes the GP will be insured as are all GP's but has it occurred to you that if this case goes against the GP her insurance will rocket, that's if one of the big three will even touch her. There will be an ultimate cost. wwozzer
  • Score: 1

9:31pm Thu 3 Apr 14

DelilahHouse says...

Yes she will be insured, but it's her name and reputation at stake. Imagine how many thousands of people she has helped, all the hours worked only to be sued for 'negligence' of a patient she saw only once.

GPs are just like the rest of us, only human.
Yes she will be insured, but it's her name and reputation at stake. Imagine how many thousands of people she has helped, all the hours worked only to be sued for 'negligence' of a patient she saw only once. GPs are just like the rest of us, only human. DelilahHouse
  • Score: 2

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