News

Woman undergoing cancer treatment learns she NEVER actually had it

She was the victim of a serious ‘hospital mix-up’.

By Samantha Steward

Mother-of-one, Elizabeth Dawes underwent a regular biopsy in July 2013, only to be devastatingly told that she had invasive grade three breast cancer. After enduring a massive surgery, she later learned that she never actually had the disease to begin with.

The 39-year old who worked as a nurse at the New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton was told that she needed surgery immediately, with doctors suggesting a double mastectomy. However Ms Dawes instead had undergone a removal surgery for the ‘cancerous’ tumour from her right breast and lymph nodes from her armpit. Not long after her initial procedure, she was told that she would need even more corrective surgery to repair the ‘deformities’ to her breast caused by the first operation.

It was four days later that this nightmare took a bizarre turn when Ms Dawes was asked to attend an appointment with her consultant where it was revealed that the hospital had mixed up her medical notes with two other patients and the painful surgery she had just undergone was completely pointless; she didn’t even have cancer.

Ms Dawes recounts her frightening ordeal to MailOnline, “I am absolutely appalled at what I have been through and am still struggling to comprehend how this could even happen.” She said. “To be told you are facing aggressive cancer in your 30s is devastating and of course, I feared the worst and began making plans for my child, and getting my finances in order. I was willing to undergo whatever treatment it took to fight the cancer so when I was told I needed surgery, I didn't think twice.”

Aside from being left ‘very sore’ and dealing with ‘extensive scarring’, Ms Dawes was so shaken up from the occurrence that she required anti-depressants.

“I am still in pain now, have lost a lot of sensation in my breasts and the scarring has not improved, which hugely affects my self-confidence.” She revealed. "Nothing can make up for what has happened but I am determined to see justice done and feel I at least deserve an official apology from the Trust given the huge impact this has had on my life."

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS trust has acknowledged their severe error and admitted complete liability of the incident. Ms Dawes is already seeking legal action against the hospital.

While Ms Dawes suffered greatly from the mix up, it’s noteworthy that there were two other women whose surgeries were delayed as a result. However, a spokesman from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS trust has confirmed that “no other patient received inappropriate treatment as a result of this incident."