A DEVASTATED dad on the Isle of Wight, left in constant pain due to mistakes made by doctors at St Mary's Hospital, has called for lessons to be learned.
Steven Chiverton, 39, from Newport, is fighting for compensation after being left depressed and unable to work or care for his five-year-old daughter Bella.
A vital operation that could have prevented his on-going agony was delayed after doctors decided his case was not urgent — despite him attending A&E in so much pain he was in tears.
He was sent home, but three days later had to be brought back to St Mary's Hospital by ambulance after losing the feeling in his legs.
Following an urgent MRI scan he was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital. He underwent surgery to deal with a prolapsed disc destroying nerves in the base of his spine, causing the condition cauda equina syndrome.
But it was too late to prevent permanent damage, which means Mr Chiverton has been left with permanent severe back pain, bowel and bladder dysfunction, numbness in his groin, saddle area, thighs and calves, foot drop on both sides, and muscle spasms.
He needs crutches to move around his house and a wheelchair for longer distances.
Mr Chiverton said: "This wasn’t just normal back pain; I knew something was badly wrong and was in tears when the A&E doctors said I was being sent home. I had been trying to get help for days and I now know that if those doctors had treated me appropriately that day that all this misery we are now facing could have been avoided and I would now be leading a normal life.
"That’s extremely difficult to come to terms and as my wife Abi also has fibromyalgia, a long term condition; she is now my carer when it used to be me looking after her.
"All I can do now is to try to make sure lessons are learned. Too many people are having their lives ruined unnecessarily by this awful condition. Doctors need to be alert to cauda equina syndrome and that scans and operations need to be done urgently when the red flags appear otherwise the chance of that patient recovering diminishes with every hour that passes."
He has been represented by medical negligence and specialist cauda equina syndrome solicitor Eddie Jones, at law firm JMW.
Last April, Isle of Wight NHS Trust admitted that if it had carried out an MRI scan, when Mr Chiverton first went to hospital in 2014, his condition would have been diagnosed and the permanent damage would have been prevented.
JMW is now fighting Mr Chiverton's case for compensation to pay for the cost of coping with the injuries, including a specially adapted house and mobility aids.
Mr Jones said: "This is a very tragic case as Steven is only 39 and his life has been completely devastated. He has found himself permanently disabled, depressed and in need of help with basic household tasks — all of which was avoidable if action had been taken by doctors just three days earlier.
"Steven had been seen by his GP and the hospital several times with warning signs of cauda equina syndrome before attending A&E in agony. Two doctors discussed his symptoms yet did not recognise the seriousness of the situation. They decided he should be sent home without an MRI scan, which would have enabled them to diagnose cauda equina syndrome and perform urgent surgery.

"It was a catastrophic error and Steven and his family will have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives."