A man who contracted a flesh-eating bacterial infection during a botched surgery has won a six-figure settlement from the hospital, The Guardian is reporting.
Andrew Lane, 63, went to Southend University Hospital in 2013 to have his prostate gland removed – by all rights a mundane and routine surgery. However, during the surgery, his bowel was punctured, causing fecal bacteria to spill out. However, the injury wasn’t noticed until six days later, and by that time it was far too late.
The damage to his body has been thorough. For starters, contaminated muscle tissue had to be removed from his abdomen. Now, lacking abdominal muscles, his intestines just hang loose, making him look like he’s pregnant, as he describes it.
The situation has also aggravated his two hernias, and that he’s in constant pain. Considering that his job caring for the elderly and disabled is a physically demanding occupation, things are even worse.
He says he used to be “sporty” and fit, but now he’s in pain all the time and his intestines hang out. He says he can’t stand to look in the mirror.
Worst of all, however, the botched surgery caused him to contract necrotizing fascitis – literally a flesh-eating bacterium – on his penis.
When all was said and done, only an inch and a half remained of Mr. Lane’s penis.
He says that even though he still has sexual desire, he can no longer perform, putting a strain on his marriage with his wife of 18 years, Sue.
“It’s been a difficult thing to come to terms with for both of us. I know Sue still loves me, but I do feel less of a man.”
Lane sued, and in July he was compensated by the hospital’s trust fund. Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, but The Guardian reports that it’s a six-figure sum.
“They’ve admitted their mistake, but I’ve not had an apology and knowing that just a scan a few days earlier would have prevented all of this is very difficult to accept.”
Meanwhile, Lane says he’s speaking openly about what he’s been though, despite it being a personal and potentially embarrassing situation, because he wants others to be aware of the dangers of botched surgery.
“I’ve been compensated, but I’ll never get my health back and I just want other people to be aware of how dangerous this flesh-eating bug is. If you don’t feel you are getting the right treatment, you have got to speak out.”
A hospital spokesperson refused to discuss the specifics of Mr. Lane’s case.