Sarah Boyle, 28, underwent months of treatment, including surgery for an aggressive form of breast cancer only to realize she was misdiagnosed – it left her utterly shocked and traumatized.
It all started in 2016, when Boyle, a 25-year old mother of one, had a problem with breastfeeding her son. She noticed her 6-month-old son Teddy appeared “very distressed” whenever she made an effort to feed him from her right breast.
In an interview with BBC, she recalls, "He became very unhappy and even hit out. For an eight-month baby to push his mother away was really heartbreaking."
On visiting the Royal Stoke Hospital in England, she underwent a biopsy and was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. Her chemotherapy was initiated immediately.
#WellnessWednesday— American Breast Care (@AmBreastCare) July 18, 2019
"Looking after your mental, physical, and emotional health is an essential part of living well. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with an illness like triple negative breast cancer."
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Eventually, Boyle endured a double mastectomy and a reconstructive surgery. She was also informed that cancer and its treatment could pose potential harm to her fertility.
In July 2017, the hospital realized that they were mistreating her – she never had cancer, and she was misdiagnosed. It all occurred because of a “human error.”
Having suffered all the mental and physical trauma, she was left drained, “Being told I had cancer was awful, but then to go through all of the treatment and surgery, to then be told it was unnecessary was traumatizing.”
Since then, Sarah and her husband Stephen, 31, have welcomed their second child, Louis, who is seven months now. The family is trying hard to move on after the harrowing experience.
Boyle told The Telegraph, “The past few years have been incredibly difficult for me and my family,” “While I was delighted when I gave birth to Louis [born Dec. 2018], it was really heartbreaking when I couldn’t breastfeed him.”
The gruesome episode of all the treatment and surgery she underwent, has left the mother of two anxious about her future.
She added, “As if that wasn’t bad enough, I am now worried about the possibility of actually developing cancer in the future because of the type of implants I have. I am also worried about complications that I may face because of my chemotherapy.”
A spokesperson from the University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust, the parent company of Royal Stokes Hospital, apologized in a statement to The Telegraph, and said, "A misdiagnosis of this kind is exceptionally rare, and we understand how devastating this has been for Sarah and her family, Ultimately the misreporting of the biopsy was a human error so as an extra safeguard all invasive cancer diagnoses are now reviewed by a second pathologist.”
As a precautionary measure, the hospital now gets cancer diagnoses checked by a second pathologist before proceeding with the treatment.
So proud to see my client, Sarah Boyle, yesterday in the news highlighting the importance of patient safety and the need to learn lessons from what happened to her to prevent it happening again #proudlawyer #patientsafety pic.twitter.com/Hf7lnLL1po— Sarah Sharples (@SarahSharplesIM) July 21, 2019
An attorney from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Sarah Sharples representing Boyle, and the family are pursuing legal action against the hospital. They hope the experience will keep any similar situation from happening again.