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Princess Royal Hospital to blame for blindness, says Telford man

Wellington | Health | Published:

It was supposed to be a routine operation on his abdomen, but an infection left Graham Mason completely blind.

Graham Mason

The 59-year-old from Wellington had already lost sight in one eye after a work accident years before, but has had to adjust to life with only five per cent vision after his operation at Princess Royal Hospital in October.

The condition, he said, has left him terrified to leave his home town, and he blames the hospital for both the original infection and, he says, for failing to help him in the months since. The hospital has denied responsibility for the infection.

Bosses at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust said that after an investigation they found no errors in his care or treatment, and that they would be happy to talk to Mr Mason about his options.

“I used to travel all over the world. I don’t feel confident leaving Wellington now,” Mr Mason said.

“I know the environment here, but I don’t know about going somewhere else.

“I used to do a lot of travelling, but because of this I can’t do that any more. I don’t feel confident enough to travel anyway. I’ve got to ask people what time the train is coming or where I should go. It makes life so difficult.

“It causes me an awful lot of problems. I struggle around the house. I live on my own in Wellington. Because of my eye sight problems, I had a fall and broke my left arm because I missed a step. That was the beginning of this year.

“I can’t see the cooker dials, but I can just about see the microwave minutes buttons. I cook food that way.

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“I used to enjoy cooking, but I can’t do that now. I seem to be living on ready meals. It has had a major impact on my life.”

Mr Mason was admitted to Princess Royal Hospital in October with an abdominal issue, but while there picked up an eye infection, which left him with a swollen eyeball.

He was treated with antibiotics and his eye went back to normal size, but he was left with his now limited vision.

He said: “It was just a minor surgery issue, but once I had recovered my eyeball had swollen up. I was given eye drops which cured it for a short time, but now I’ve been left in the position I’m in now.

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“The hospital have told me I need a corneal skin graft to smooth out the front of my eye, but nothing seems to be forthcoming from them.

“I’ve seen a specialist who has told me I’m in a queue. I’ve complained to the chief executive and got a letter back saying they’d look into it. That was in the beginning of March.There’s a hope this operation will restore my sight, and it’s a hope I’m clinging to. If it fails, that is something I’ll cross when it comes to it. I’m not someone who looks on the negative side. I just know I need the operation.”

Mr Mason said that he wanted the hospital to take responsibility for what happened while he was in their care.

“I’d like them to give me the operation, but I’d also like them to take the responsibility for my condition,” he said.

“I got the infection while I was their patient. I’ve come out of Princess Royal Hospital with a problem and it’s only gone on from there. I’m a fairly positive person, but I went in for an operation and this happened. I wasn’t banking on this.”

Mark Cheetham, scheduled care group a medical director at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We are aware of Mr Mason’s complex medical history.

“We’re sorry to hear Mr Mason has suffered a deterioration in his eyesight. We have fully investigated Mr Mason’s concerns and no evidence has been found of any errors in his care or treatment. We would be very happy to meet with Mr Mason if he would like us to discuss this further with him.”

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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