Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Prize Fighter, the Story of Debbie Kendall

Hi, My name is Debbie, and I am here fighting again. I have been fighting all my life for one thing or another. I am sure it’s that military upbringing!
I am fighting for Justice this time. I thought I had finished with that 10 years ago, after a five year Personal Injury Damages Claim from a bike accident.
But no, here I am again, by a twist of fate!
This all started on April 1st, of all days, in 1995. I was riding my FZX750 Fazer to a bike show. It was my baby, my pride & joy. I had saved and hunted high and low, all over the UK to find one. They were a rare bike here.
I got hit from behind on a Dual Carriageway, (same as a Freeway) by a Drugged Driver. He hit a woman’s car and then drove straight through me to get away. I saw him, and went as close to the van on my left as I could without going under it, went for the horn, and thought ‘assholes’. Am I allowed to say that?
My husband, who was riding up front, just got out the way and then chased the guy, and got him to stop. He reversed back up to the accident and my husband dropped his bike on the side of the road, and ran back.
I was, luckily, not driven over by anyone, as everyone saw what was happening and stopped. James Joseph Davis was incapable of changing his wheel, the tyre had burst on impact with my bike. He gave a statement saying he was ‘Lord Longford’ thinking this was funny as it was April 1st. The police had to let him go as there was no drugs test then. He had just come off a 3 year DUI ban.
I woke up in the ambulance with a spine board and head restraint on. I had no idea where I was or what had happened. I was taken to Poole NHS Trust Hospital, given Cervical Spine X-Rays and the board was removed.
I was undressed by young nurses who asked me where it hurt MOST. I told them. They laughed when I included my feet, and said ‘we don’t do feet’. I was given a few more X-Rays and then told I would be going to a Odstock hospital as Poole was unable to cope with my injuries.
Later, Dr Vinod K Panchbhavi came and said he could do the operations on my hands.
Unfortunately for me, and probably a lot of other RTA victims in the Western World, the serious nature of my injuries had not been recognised. These two dozey Dr’s had not recognised that I had a Broken Neck, Back, a Syrinx in my Spinal Cord, a Broken Tailbone, and a Brain Injury.
I was not given MRI, or Spine X-Rays. Despite the hospital having it’s own Scanning Suite.
I was asked whether I was right or left handed, and replied, “both”. I wrote with both left and right hands, I was an artist, sewing machinist, typist, and worked on Micro Electronics at that time. I did gardening, decorating, built motorbikes, and was at that time building a Trike. I was really fit and strong for a ‘Girlie’.
I was told I had to choose which hand I wanted fixed as he would only be fixing one properly.
I still had not been examined by anyone, and was sent up to the Ward to await my operation.
As I came round from the op. my body went into convulsions from the chest up only. I was returned to the ward.
Over the next few days, I was unable to move from the chest down and the nurses noted that I was also only saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to questions. Here started their 3 weeks of pleading with Dr Panchbhavi to refer me to a Neurologist. I had a sling put round my neck to get the swelling down in my shattered hands. This then turned into pillowcases and drip stands, and both elbows were placed in these.
My records show, that Dr Panchbhavi knew that I had a Head Injury and that my neck was broken. He knew that I was unable to walk without my legs giving way as If my spinal cord was cut. Yet for three weeks he did nothing.
I will never know why I was treated this way, it is quite beyond me.
The next few weeks were even sillier. I had shattered hands, broken wrist and elbow.These were not plastered as they had forgotten my badly broken wrist which hung at 90 degrees to my hand. I had fixators and ‘K’ wires in my hands. The Physio came round with ‘crutches’, then crutches which you rested your arms in with hand holds. Then she brought a walking frame that you had to pick up and place in front of you with each step. Then a walker with wheels and a brake lever. I fall about in stitches and wonder at the stupidity of this now. At the time, I was just baffled as I had no idea what was going on.
I had 3 operations on my hands, in the end. My broken wrist which had not been plastered was re-broken by a nurse who held my forearm and yanked my hand round one day. I heard the crunch and felt the pain and just counted out loud to Ten. I hasten to add that it was not her fault. My wrist was not plastered.
As soon as I came out of hospital and got under the care of another Dr I was referred to Neurological, but only to Neuro Rehab, so again the chance to spot all my undiagnosed injuries had slipped by.
Four months later I eventually saw Dr Burns, Neuro Rehab at Poole NHS Trust and told him that I had been unable to move and had convulsions etc. Again, he just went silent at what I told him. He never ordered an MRI either.
For Five years I complained about foot pain, back pain, neck pain, pin pricking and crawling sensations, weakness, etc etc..
All the symptoms of serious neck, lumbar, sacral and syrinx injuries, and nothing was done.
I had fought to get better, through Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, as well as Neurological Physio and Neurological OT, to learn how to cope, cook, clean, shop, dress, wash & toilet myself. To re-learn spelling and writing, and to stay on my feet. To cope with constant pain, and to almost have to hype myself up to a level, just to be able to try to understand what people were saying. I had gone through, Audiology, Orthoptics, Orthotics and many other departments at the hospital.
Unfortunately for me, I hired a Solicitor who had been advertising as a Personal Injury Lawyer on the Ward. It has transpired that she was married to a Consultant at the hospital, who were also clients of Lester Aldridge.
Because of my Brain Injury these people were able to take advantage of me, and covered up the original negligence.
My Lawyer Karen Thompson, never sent me to see a Neurosurgeon or Neurologist, she told me that Dr Burns was best placed for this, and his boss Dr Ellis, Neurologist would be my other expert.
I never saw Dr Ellis at all. I never saw Dr Burns other than on the NHS in 1995-1996.
In 2000 the Defendant’s lawyers sent me for scans, unconvinced by my unexplained weakness in my extremities. I was told, I would be having Brain scans, but I was scanned down through my neck and chest. My lawyer refused my request for Spine scans but scanned my knee and elbow. I was refused access to the scans or the results, which must have shown my injuries.
Suddenly I see Mark Lomas QC who is a Barrister for big Companies and Corporations, specialising in Professional Negligence.
He at first wrote a perfect report mentioning the Severe Spinal Cord Injury and all my known injuries.
Then I get told that my scans are not being used as they show no injury. Now I can see that this was a lie, as if this had been the case the Defendant’s lawyers would have NEVER let this happen.
But brain injured as I am, I was then defrauded out of gaining suitable damages for my real and much more serious injuries. The Barrister wrote a new report to the judge removing all mention of Dr Burns and my Severe Spinal Cord Injury etc etc.
I was then offered a settlement which I had no option but to take, as the Report to the Judge was now full of lies and my injuries had been reduced to practically nothing . I was terrified and couldn’t understand what was happening, I thought my case would be thrown out, as the report said I had not even had the Neurological Scans done.
My husband explains my inability to understand things like this. He says that it is like having a massive hard drive (brain) with a very small RAM so that you cannot remember everything, in order to put everything together, so that you can understand it, or Problem Solve.
It is a fight every day to try to remember anything and to stick to the coping strategies, notes etc etc. But, you do cope and life can be good!
I hadn’t been getting better, and was then referred back to the Hospital Where
I was misdiagnosed for 5 years by a Department at the local NHS Trust that has ironically or suspiciously, as it’s Head, a Dr Paul Thompson, my old Solicitor’s husband.
I fought for years to find out what was wrong with me, watching people around me get referred for investigation and treatment while I was ignored.
Last year I insisted on a second opinion, and went out of the area. The new Dr told me that I didn’t have any of the things I was misdiagnosed with, asked me my original symptoms and lo and behold ordered an MRI which found the Thoracic Syrinx. The two local Neurologists I saw then, asked me If I was ‘suing’ and refused to allow me to tell them about my accident and attributed this as ‘Idiopathic’. I have had to fight on and saw Dr’s who would allow me to tell about the accident, (out of the area again) and have said the Thoracic Syrinx is due to my accident. I have now seen a hospital record showing I had a broken neck. I have had Private MRI and X-Ray which show a broken back, lumbar, and a badly broken coccyx, as well as Arachnoiditis and Arachnoid Cysts. Still the local Neurologist is trying to cover this up, and even refuses to look at any other MRI image than that of the Syrinx. Over the last fifteen years, my body didn’t recover as well as it would have, because of the injuries that had still been undiagnosed I have also gone ‘out of the area’ for the other unexplained symptoms and found that I have also got Post Traumatic Hypothyroidism also undiagnosed, despite pleading for help with this for years.
What really makes me laugh is when I think of the people who don’t know me, who treat me like I am stupid. Invariably my hubby will tell me not to worry I am far more intelligent than they are, 99 percentile, even with my Brain Injury, which I feel blessed for, but also tortured by. It is really frustrating!! But, hey, I am not moaning!
As a vulnerable undeserving victim, you really don’t need, Corruption of this level loaded against you, when you have already been through so much. So, I am fighting again. I will not give up. Since finding out what these people did to me, I have realised that this is happening everywhere in the Western World, every day. I have to fight on, if for no other reason, than to stop this happening to someone else. I could not live with myself If I did nothing, and did not warn others about what is being done by supposedly civilised and caring societies in the 21st Century.
People have to be educated about Brain Injury, Syrinx, and Arachnoiditis. Injury victims need to be educated about how far others will go to cover up negligence. To make sure they do not end up with inadequate funds for their future care. So, I will not stop! I cannot stop. My name is Debbie Ann Kendall, and I am proud of who I am, Brain Injury ‘n all.

On a Happy Note, In between all of this, I have learnt Bead Artistry, and I have a page on the BeadCreators website. I do this when I can and give the pieces to Charities.

1 comment:

  1. OMG, what a story. Unbelievable and a shame. I am so sorry. As a brain injury survivor and also being on the end of some gross medical negligence, I know the intense anger this can produce. You "can't help but think "what if...?"

    They basically just left me to die. I can only imagine the "holy shit" look on their faces when they realized I was going to pull through. For a long time, I was really mad and wanted to sue the crap out of them.

    I have made peace with it. I have instead chosen to put my energy into me and getting better. If I did sue and win, I would have more money, but I would still have the same physical challenges. I also don't want to put myself through all the negativity.