Granborough family fights for mum who died of cervical cancer

Louisa Foster and her daughter, Poppy

“No women should have to go through the pain Louisa did."

The family of a mother from Granborough, who died of cervical cancer, are seeking justice after doctors failed to diagnose her illness.

Graeme, Louisa and Poppy

Louisa Foster, 35, underwent a test as part of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme at her GP surgery in 2008.

The results were recorded as normal and Louisa was advised that she did not need another test for three years.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in April 2011, and was told it was incurable a year later. She died in 2013.

Her widower, Graeme, who lives in the village with their two children, Poppy and Casper, hopes Louisa’s story will help raise awareness.

He explained: “Louisa was a beautiful and caring person and a great mum. To see her health deteriorate as the cancer took hold of her was heartbreaking.

“Although she was suffering extreme pain because of her illness, Louisa always tried to stay positive right to the end. She was more concerned about the wellbeing of others, especially Poppy and Casper.

“Louisa was everything to me and I miss her every day. Our family had the rest of our lives to spend together and this has now been snatched away from us.”

The families solicitors, Irwin Mitchell, allege that the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which was responsible for Louisa’s test results, admitted liability for Louisa’s death.

They say the Trust admitted that if Louisa’s test results had been reported as ‘abnormal’ she would have been referred for more tests and that with ‘appropriate treatment’ she ‘would not have developed cervical cancer and her death would have been avoided’.

Graeme, 49, added: “When Louisa started complaining of pain in her stomach and back and started losing weight shortly after giving birth to Casper I instinctively knew something wasn’t right.

“However, the doctors seemed to think Louisa’s symptoms were connected to childbirth or she had an infection. We trusted their opinions and it’s only now that we know the doctors faced a tremendously difficult task because they were referring to incorrect information on her medical notes.

“I appreciate those in the NHS face daily challenges but my family have paid the ultimate price because of the negligent recording of my wife’s results.

“Had Louisa been given accurate results she could have sought further help and treatment before it was too late. My wife would still be alive and my children would still have their mum.

“No women should have to go through the pain Louisa did. It’s so important that if any women feel they may have symptoms linked to cervical cancer they seek medical advice quickly, and if needs be don’t take no for an answer.

“I hope that no other families have to suffer the devastation that our family have.”

After giving birth to Casper in December 2010, Louisa started to experience pain and discomfort.

However, she was told it was an infection and that antibiotics would clear it up.

She continued to suffer symptoms of cervical cancer, including weight loss and severe pain in her back, pelvis and abdomen.

After visiting the doctors on several occasions she was referred to a gynaecologist. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in April 2011.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is organised by the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and runs between 22-28 January.

According to the charity:

- 99.7% of cervical cancers are caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which causes changes to the cervical cells.

- 220,000 UK women are diagnosed with cervical abnormalities each year and over 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. 890 women lose their lives.

- Around 5 million UK women are invited to cervical screening each year yet one in four do not attend.

For more information visit www.jostrust.org.uk

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