Charlie, a risk management controller, raised concerns with her GP surgery back in May 2019.
An investigation by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) found her symptoms should have been “red flags”.
While the GP practice did carry out several tests, none of them were for colon cancer.
Charlie said: “I kept going back to the practice and they just fobbed me off.
“They didn’t listen to me at all. I saw a different doctor each time, one of whom suggested I had anorexia and was in denial.”
In April 2020, her symptoms deteriorated even further, leaving her vomiting blood while clapping for the NHS workers outside her home.
Charlie called an ambulance and was taken to Yeovil Hospital, where she was diagnosed with colon cancer.
As a result of her delayed treatment, the woman underwent an emergency operation to remove two-thirds of her colon.
She also needed a temporary stoma, which describes an opening on the abdomen that allows waste to be diverted out of your body into a bag.
Following this ordeal, Charlie, whose cancer is now in remission, needed therapy for PTSD and is still unable to trust anyone.
Her experience prompted her to complain to the PHSO, who looks into unresolved complaints about the NHS.
The Ombudsman’s investigation, which included seeking advice from an independent GP, found staff at the practice should have referred Charlie for further investigation within two weeks.
The PSHO also said that If Charlie had been referred appropriately, she would have had a planned keyhole procedure, rather than unnecessary emergency surgery and a stoma.
The Ombudsman recommended the surgery pay Charlie £2,950 for its failures and put in place an action plan to prevent this from happening in the future.
Ombudsman Rob Behrens said: “Charlie was failed by the professionals who she went to for help and the effect on her life has been significant.
“We cannot change what happened but it’s important that when mistakes are made, organisations acknowledge what has happened and commit to learning from these mistakes to prevent it from happening again.”
Charlie now wants to raise awareness and prevent anybody else from a similar fate.
She added: “I’ve got a second chance and I’m thankful for that, but it’s had a huge effect on my life.
“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else, which is why I took my complaint to the Ombudsman. I have to fight not just for myself but for other people too.
“Everyone needs to listen to their bodies. I knew something was wrong but I listened to the professionals who told me everything was okay.
“If you’re worried, demand things are checked out and get a second opinion if you need it.”
Express.co.uk has approached the NHS for comment.
Source: | This article first appeared on Express.co.uk