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Romford woman says missed diagnosis “sullied” dad’s memory

Marie Arnold, Sylvia Turner and Emma Turner Marie Arnold, Sylvia Turner and Emma Turner

Saturday, October 19, 2013
9:00 AM

The daughter of a man who was declared “medically fit” by hospital staff, days before dying from lung cancer, says the horrific experience has “sullied” his memory.

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Roy TurnerRoy Turner

Marie Arnold, 45, of Burleigh Close, Romford, said Roy Turner was told after several visits to King George Hospital, Goodmayes that there was no cause for immediate concern until a scan picked up the cancer on October 2. He died exactly a week later.

His family are determined others do not go through what they have.

The 85-year-old, who had six grandchildren, received the letter declaring him medically fit on September 30, just two days before the cancer diagnosis, which also revealed masses on the adrenal glands.

Marie raised her concerns at the Care Quality Commission’s listening event on Tuesday.

Speaking after the meeting, she told the Recorder: “There’s something drastically wrong if such a serious disease can be missed.

“The last few weeks have sullied our memory of dad and a lot of the pain could have been prevented.

“A proud man lost his dignity in front of our eyes, that wasn’t the great man we knew towards the end. He was in so much pain.”

When dad-of-two Mr Turner, who lived in Barkingside, was diagnosed the doctor initially wanted to drain the fluid from his lung, but on closer inspection realised the masses were cancerous and terminal. The family took him to his home to die.

Mr Turner’s wife, Sylvia, 80, received a phone call from the hospital asking to speak to her husband about coming in for a biopsy on Monday – five days after he died.

Marie added: “He kept fainting, lost a lot of weight and he could hardly lift up his arms because they were so swollen. Our Macmillan nurse said that’s one of the first signs of lung cancer.

“Everyone feels so guilty because we were trying to whip him back into shape – we didn’t think there was anything wrong with him.”

“Dad kept fighting right to the end. He just didn’t know if was for nothing.”

A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We were sorry to hear of the death of Roy Turner at home.

“We would be happy to discuss any concerns his family have about his care, although we have not 
received any contact from the family to date.”

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