When your intuition tells you that something is wrong, it is best to listen. You know your body better than anyone, so sometimes a doctor can get it wrong. When you look for changes in your body or the way you feel, you can get ahead of some conditions and disease. If you listen to what your body is trying to tell you, then you can act on that knowledge and see a professional.
That’s what one man did when he first experienced dizziness and shortness of breath. It was not normal for him. But when he went to get it checked out, he was sent home with low blood pressure and anxiety. He would not make it through the night.
Simon Willans did everything right. He listened to his body. He sought medical help when he needed it. And he followed the doctor’s advice. Nevertheless, he died because the doctor got it wrong. Willans was not suffering from anxiety – not at all. He had a blood clot that was blocking his blood from accessing important parts of his body.
Willans was only 42-years-old when he collapsed at his parents’ home. He died as first responders rushed him to the hospital.
Because his family knew that he had gone to the doctor that very day, they were stunned. Why had they been unable to diagnose him correctly? Why had they missed the blood clot that killed the young man? They launched an inquest into the medical malpractice because they wanted to know why they had lost their beloved son.
Lloyd Evans was the doctor who had dismissed Willans when he came in complaining of shortness of breath and dizziness.
Evans admitted that something Willans’s case was “unusual.” He reportedly wanted him admitted, but the hospital refused to do so. They said they were “very busy and asked if referral would be more appropriate.” Even though Evans tried his best, it was the hospital that turned Willans away and let him die.
“I can’t give them all Heparin (an anticoagulant) in case they have a clot,” he told North West Wales senior coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones. ”I would have preferred him to be seen that day, but I compromised on him being seen the next morning.”
Pathologist Mark Lord admitted that Willans had signs of a blood clot and the doctors just missed this glaring evidence. Willans’s right calf was swollen. And if caught, it might have saved his life.
“If recognized before death, anticoagulant treatment is effective,” he said.
The inquest is ongoing. And the coroner hopes they can figure out who is responsible for this man’s untimely death. This was preventable if the hospital had been open to helping him rather than pushing him away.
Every year, doctors and hospitals get busier. Stories like this become more frequent because doctors are setting stricter hours and turning patients away if they’re late – even if being late was not their fault. And sometimes doctors call patients or parents “paranoid” when in truth they have every right to be terrified of the symptoms they’re witnessing.