Rainham mum, 32: ‘Doctors don’t know why I keep losing consciousness’
A Rainham mum who spontaneously loses consciousness every few days has criticised what she says is Queen’s Hospital’s failure to refer her on for a special blood pressure test.
Kelly Tatum, of Gisborne Gardens, has been blacking out for between five and 10 minutes at a time for the past three months. At its most frequent it happens daily – Kelly once passed out four times in 24 hours.
But a range of brain and blood tests at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, have turned up no reason – or cure – for the mysterious problem that is terrifying Kelly’s three young children and has left her all but housebound.
“It’s scary,” said the 32-year-old. “If I’m on my own with the kids or with the baby that’s the main thing.
“It’s hard to go out because someone has to go with me. I can’t drive in case it happens. My social life has gone out the window.
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“The first time it happened my kids were here. Luckily my eldest had the sense to go and get my next door neighbour, but they were scared.”
That time, quick-thinking Charlie, seven, was left looking after his younger sister Casey, five, and baby brother George, who is eight months old, while his neighbour waited for an ambulance to arrive.
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But numerous hospital stays later, Kelly is still none the wiser.
“My kids are always on edge, thinking: ‘Is mummy alright?’” she said.
“I just want it sorted as soon as possible.”
But Kelly said she was unimpressed to discover earlier this month that the blood pressure test she believed she’d been waiting for since October hadn’t even been booked.
“I was in Queen’s for a week having tests, and they couldn’t find anything,” she said. “They were supposed to refer me to the Royal London to have a tilt table test, as that was the only thing they could think of.”
A tilt table test is used to diagnose blood pressure problems, which could be a factor in Kelly’s condition. Patients who need it must be referred to central London.
But no referral has been made – and Kelly said when she called up to ask about it, she was given another appointment at Queen’s, even though the test isn’t available there.
To make matters worse, Kelly’s mother-in-law Christine claims she contacted the hospital complaint department a fortnight ago, but Queen’s has no record of that, either – so it hasn’t investigated the family’s concerns.
A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately we have no record of a complaint being made about Ms Tatum’s care.
“We have contacted her this week to inform her that we will be looking into her concerns and will resolve any issues as soon as possible.”