Berkshire

Football-sized hernia man gets six-figure sum from Slough hospital

Hernia man 1 Image copyright Allan Austin
Image caption The hernia grew from around three to four inches to 11x11 inches in nine months

A man whose hernia became the size of a football after hospital negligence has been compensated with a six-figure sum.

Allan Austin, 60, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, was unable to fully wash or dress himself after delays meant a key operation at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, was postponed for nine months.

He said the experience was a "living hell", adding he was "disabled and disfigured" after surgery.

Frimley Park NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has been asked for comment.

Mr Austin was first admitted to hospital with a burst abscess in his bowel in April 2013, after which a small hernia developed.

Delays over a following operation to remove the hernia meant the abscess grew from around three inches to 11x11 inches.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Frimley Park Hospital Trust, which owns Wexham Park hospital, paid Mr Austin a six-figure compensation sum

Mr Austin said: "I couldn't bend down, I couldn't dress myself or wash myself below the waist. My wife had to do it, which was so degrading.

"I couldn't look in the mirror because it repulsed me".

Special funding had to be obtained within the NHS to pay for a subsequent operation to remove the hernia.

Image copyright Allan Austin
Image caption By the time of an operation, the hernia was the size of a football

Mr Austin pursued a claim against Wexham Park Hospital, arguing his condition was made significantly worse as the result of the delays.

The hospital settled for an undisclosed sum last month, but Mr Austin's wife, Elizabeth, claims that issues remain.

"There's still an open wound on his stomach. You can't escape it, it's constantly with you because the problems are still there".

Oliver Thorne, from Slee Blackwell solicitors, representing Mr Austin, said he was "delighted" to have achieved the settlement.

He added: "This compensation can go a little way to ensuring that life is not as difficult as it has been", because the pair cannot work.

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