A heartbroken woman is suing a health board after her mother contracted a flesh-eating bug in hospital which was caused by a draining tube left in for DAYS.
Sharon Boyle, 45, claims a “catalogue of errors” by the health board led to the fatal infection which took her mother too soon.
And now the podiatrist and mother-of-three said she wants to stop other families having to go through what she has.
Her case rests on the claim that the drainage tube was left in too long – four days rather than six hours – and re-inserted after falling on to a bathroom floor.
Sharon said she has not yet been able to grieve her mother’s death.
Her mother, Lorraine Dickson, died in October 2011 aged 72 after developing necrotising fasciitis – a deadly bacterial infection which rapidly destroys soft tissues.
Sharon, from Motherwell in North Lanarkshire, is bringing a damages case against NHS Lanarkshire which is due to be heard at Hamilton Sheriff Court in December.
She said: “I haven’t had a chance to grieve my mum’s death for six years because this case has been going on.
“My mum has got to have died for a reason, and if something changes for other patients then at least the pain and suffering she went through will have been worth something.
“No-one else should have to see their mother suffering the way I did.”
Sharon’s mother, who had relapsed breast cancer, was admitted to Wishaw General in September 2011.
Lorraine, a former nurse, had a build up of fluid in her abdominal cavity which had to be drained using a tube inserted through her side.
Despite her ill health, Sharon said her mother was “very fit”, but claims the drainage tube was left in for too long.
She said: “She was up and about, walking, talking to people, eating her meals.
“She was asking me to bring in Christmas catalogues so that she could plan what presents to buy for her grandchildren.”
But her mother developed E.coli which then progressed into the fatal necrotising fasciitis.
Sharon’s legal team say that the length of time the tube was left in is what led to Lorraine contracting E.coli and later necrotising fasciitis.
Mrs Boyle said: “The infection had spread from underneath her right breast to the top of her thigh.
“I was told that if they had tried to remove the tissue surgically, it would have looked like a shark bite.”
But NHS Lanarkshire denies liability for Mrs Dickson’s death.
Lawyers for the health board argue there were conflicting views on how to manage chest drains at that time.
They say in the absence of any clear guidelines NHS Lanarkshire cannot be blamed for negligence.
They also said it cannot be proven that the chest drain was the cause of the E.coli infection which triggered necrotising fasciitis.
Infections are a common risk factor of ascites drainage, occurring in about 20 per cent of cases.
And contracting an infection does not in itself mean that the drain was incorrectly inserted.
Sharon said: “I knew my mother was going to die. If she had died of cancer I could have accepted it.
“But she died too soon, and she died from an infection which she should never have had.”
Gillian McAuley, Wishaw General Hospital chief of nursing services, said: “We are unable to comment on any civil legal action against NHS Lanarkshire in relation to this case as legal proceedings are ongoing.