Mother's deadly heart disease left undiagnosed

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust failed to diagnose mother of two, Sandra Pearson, with a deadly heart muscle disease.

Mrs Pearson first became unwell with flu-like symptoms in March 2011. She later attempted to give blood but was told that her haemoglobin levels were too low and to see a doctor.

Her condition deteriorated over the next weeks. Mrs Pearson became progressively more lethargic, sickly and was losing weight. She had a series of appointments with her GP and a number of tests were carried out.

Mrs Pearson later collapsed and was taken to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary. She had numerous blood tests and a chest x-ray. The results were reported as normal and she was discharged. In a few weeks she was again referred back to Royal Albert Edward Infirmary by her GP. This time, she was having difficulty walking, breathing, was very pale and had a rash.

Upon arrival at the hospital, the mother of two was immediately transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. Mrs Pearson’s daughter, Kirsti, was informed that her mother was in a critical condition and should have been transferred to the hospital much earlier. Mrs Pearson did not recover and sadly died at the hospital.

Her death was caused by multiple blood clots in her heart, lungs and legs (multiple thromboemboli and cardiac thrombi), caused as a result of the heart muscle disease, cardiomyopathy. 

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust admitted that there had been a failure to admit Mrs Pearson to hospital on her first attendance for further investigations.

Her children were awarded £8,500.

“With an earlier diagnosis and treatment my mother would have had the opportunity to come to terms with her prognosis, her symptoms would have been better controlled and she would have been provided with the appropriate care and support. She would have also had the opportunity to put her affairs in order and say goodbye”.