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Cancer sufferer Brianne Jones to sue Southampton General Hospital over quality of care
SHE is barely out of her teens but has been given only months to live.
Now cancer sufferer Brianne Jones is to sue the NHS for what she claims was a catalogue of missed opportunities that could have saved or prolonged her life.
Brianne believes doctors could have diagnosed her earlier and that medics even “lost” crucial blood samples that could have led to earlier treatment.
Brianne, 20, is also urging other young people to monitor their bodies for any signs of cancer and insist that they receive proper treatment.
Six years after first raising the alarm, she has tumours in various parts of her body, including her brain.
Much of her criticism is aimed at Southampton General Hospital which, she says, has failed in its duty of care.
“I feel very let down by the NHS. I just get the feeling they think I’m a lost cause,” she said.
Last year friends launched a fundraising campaign after learning that she was terminally ill. With the help of generous Daily Echo readers they collected enough cash to send her on a tour of Europe.
Now, with time running out, the young hairdresser is vowing to fight for justice.
Brianne is planning to sue Southampton General Hospital for compensation but knows she is unlikely to live long enough to benefit from any pay-out.
Instead, any money will be given to her eight-month-old niece Aimee Louise Smith.
Brianne, of Marchwood, said: “I always intended to spoil her and compensation would enable me to do that, even if I’m not around to do it in person.”
But what she really wants, she says, is a public admission that doctors failed to provide her with adequate treatment.
Brianne’s nightmare began in 2006 when a mole on her ear began bleeding. It was removed at Southampton General Hospital a few months later but Brianne says her ear took two years to heal.
Last year she developed a range of alarming symptoms, including unusual bowel movements and lumps in her arm, thigh and breast.
“I explained that I’d had a mole removed five years before and was getting worried by my continuing health problems,”
“I clearly wasn’t well but noone was doing anything to identify what was wrong.”
She had two spells in hospital in January and March 2011 after which she was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.
But the problems persisted and she returned in August when they tried to perform a colonoscopy but were unsuccessful due to a blockage in her bowel.
During this time blood was taken for examination.
Brianne also visited her GP on three occasions in May, June and August as lumps began appearing on parts of her body.
Then in September last year Brianne went to A&E at Southampton General Hospital with severe stomach pains. She says she requested a scan but was told to take painkillers.
It was when she again went to her surgery later that month to talk to her doctor that it was revealed that the blood taken earlier in the year had either never been tested or the results had been lost.
Her world finally fell apart at the beginning of October – in the same week as her 20th birthday.
Following more blood tests and a biopsy she was told she had melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. It had spread to other parts of her body.
“To be 20 years of age and told you have only six months to live is indescribable,”
Two months ago she had a huge tumour removed from her abdomen, but others remain.
Dr Michael Marsh, medical director at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an extremely difficult time for Brianne and her family.
“We will continue to provide them with any support, advice and assistance they require during her ongoing treatment.”