Search

Hackney teen given painkillers by A&E has brain tumour

12:23 24 December 2012

Olivia Wicks

Olivia Wicks

Archant

A schoolgirl was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour – nearly five weeks after an A&E doctor told her she was only suffering from dehydration.

Olivia Wicks, 14, of Walsham Close, Stamford Hill, was on holiday at her aunt’s house in Bournemouth when she started suffering severe headaches and nausea.

On the night of July 28, her aunt was woken by her niece’s screams. “She was shouting: ‘Help me! Help me!’ with her head in her hands,” said Lisa Wicks, 41.

Following the advice of NHS Direct, Ms Wicks took her niece, then aged 13, to A&E at Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

But a nurse did not consider Olivia’s symptoms to be serious enough for her to be seen straight away, which meant that they had to wait six hours to see a doctor.

Olivia’s family claim she was not given a proper examination by a locum doctor, who prescribed Ibuprofen for dehydration and assured her aunt that a brain scan was unnecessary.

“I told the doctor my headaches aren’t normal but he just didn’t want to listen,” said Olivia. Over the next month, Olivia suffered from intermittent nausea, severe headaches and blurred vision. Her aunt took her to an optometrist, who found nothing wrong with her eyes.

In September, back in Hackney, Olivia collapsed on her first day back at the Skinners’ Academy, Manor House and was rushed to Homerton Hospital. After two hours of scans and tests, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Her mother Rebekah Wicks, 34, said: “When they told me, I just broke down for an hour. I was in complete shock.”

Following her collapse – which her family claim would never have happened if she’d had prompter treatment – Olivia temporarily lost the ability to see clearly, walk or speak and had to be fed through a tube. She can now talk and walk again, but is still unable to see clearly out of her right eye and has to wear a patch.

Mother-of-four Rebekah Wicks, who had to stay overnight in hospital with her six-month-old baby during Olivia’s ordeal, described the experience as “devastating”.

A spokesman for the trust confirmed an officical complaint had been recieved and that a review was underway.

But he stressed it did “not suggest that there was any indication at the time for an immediate brain scan,” and added: “It was therefore reasonable to discharge her into the care of her GP.”

The Wicks family have now taken their complaint to the parliamentary and health service ombudsman.

Olivia’s tumour has shrunk following radiation treatment, and she is back at school part-time. Meanwhile, her mother is desperate to stop further misdiagnoses. She added: “If they did this to my daughter, how many other people could it happen to?”

0 comments

Latest Hackney News Stories

Yesterday, 15:41
The air ambulance on London Fields. (Picture: @ciaba).

A sunbather run over by a council rubbish van in a horrific accident at London Fields yesterday morning has escaped serious injury, the Gazette can reveal.

Yesterday, 14:21
Teacher Helen Ham is retiring after 32 years at William Patten School, Stoke Newington

Helen Ham only planned to stay at William Patten Primary School for one year when she came on board as a supply teacher in 1984.

Yesterday, 12:47
Alexander McQueen left Sarabande the bulk of his £16m fortune

Alexander McQueen’s charity has been granted a licence to serve booze at its fashion shows despite objections from neighbours.

Yesterday, 11:08
Hackney Gazette 22.7.86

Every week the Gazette will delve into its archives to see what was happening in Hackney 30 and 60 years ago.

Sunday, July 24, 2016
The air ambulance landed on London Fields where a police cordon was set up. (Picture: @janann24).

A London Fields sunbather has been rushed to hospital after being run over by a parks van this morning.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Rose Chorlton and Olly Fay at the Trew Era Cafe in Hoxton (Picture: Polly Hancock)

It feels a bit like trendy coffee spots are taking over east London, but Hackney’s cafes aren’t all about cereal, cats and board games. The Gazette visits three establishments who say their coffee has a conscience.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Shoreditch Park and the Brittania Leisure Centre were under threat

The Britannia Leisure Centre will not be knocked down to make way for Crossrail 2 – leaving the path clear for a new school development on the site.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Police march on the Stamford Hill block party (Picture: J Allinson)

Three teenage girls were this afternoon being held by police over an unlicensed street party in Stamford Hill on Tuesday night that saw police pelted with missiles.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hackney Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now