Family demands answers after 87-year-old woman suffers two broken legs during St Helier Hospital stay
A family is demanding answers after an elderly woman who was admitted to St Helier hospital suffered two broken legs in an as-yet unexplained incident.
Joyce Wadey, 87, has been in hospital for seven weeks since the incident and has told her daughter she no longer wants to be resuscitated if there are complications during any upcoming operations.
Her daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Martin Wiseman, say they have been kept in the dark as to what happened and are calling on the hospital to provide answers after a scheduled meeting between them hospital staff revealed no information.
Mr and Mrs Wiseman
Mrs Wadey, of Morden Road in Wallington, suffers from a condition that affects her legs and restricts her movement meaning she is confined to her bed or a chair. She was admitted to St Helier Hospital on February 13 after she suffered breathing problems brought on by the exertion of trying to get out of her chair.
She was kept at the hospital for several weeks while she recovered but on Friday, March 21, Mrs Wiseman received a call from the hospital explaining that one of her mother's legs had been broken in an incident the previous day.
During an operation on the broken leg that doctors realised she had actually broken both her legs but doctors ruled that she had lost so much blood in the first operation, the second one would have to wait for several days.
A month later, on April 20, Mrs Wiseman found blood in her mum's bed during a visit and an investigation revealed one of the metal plates had come away requiring a third operation.
Mrs Wiseman said: "She's in a terrible state. She's on a morphine drip but she's still in a lot of pain and she's been vomiting blood.
"The doctors say they can't do any more invasive surgery as her heart won't take it and one day a doctor phones to ask whether if mum's heart stopped, she should be resuscitated.
"I've spoken to mum and she says she doesn't want to live any more."
Mrs Wiseman and her husband say they are yet to be given any answers as to how the incident happened. They believe staff were trying to move Mrs Wadey without a hoist and something happened during that process.
St Helier Hospital
The couple met hospital staff at Sutton Civic Offices last Thursday but, on the night prior to the meeting, they were told they would not be given a reason for the incident as a member of staff involved was away.
Mrs Wiseman added: "I'm totally drained. We're at our wits' end.
"When she went to hospital, we thought she would be cared for and at least she wouldn't be on her own.
"We never imagined something like this could happen, it's shocking.
"It's upsetting to see her there screaming in pain and crying out for help and all the while we still don't know what happened."
Pippa Hart, chief nurse at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals, said the hospital is unable to provide specific details about the incident and described this type of situation as "very rare".
She added: "We are deeply sorry that Mrs Wadey fell and was injured during her stay at St Helier Hospital.
"We are taking this matter very seriously indeed, and a full internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding this rare incident was launched as a matter of urgency. We are also working with the family and our local authorities to fully assess what has happened, and to help ensure a similar situation cannot occur again."
She said staff will meet Mr and Mrs Wiseman in early June to discuss the findings of the investigation.
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