A mother whose life was turned upside down with a shock diagnosis is suing the Townsville Hospital and Health Service for more than a million dollars.
A mother whose life was turned upside down with a shock diagnosis is suing the Townsville Hospital and Health Service for more than a million dollars.

Mum sues hospital for $1.4m over missed brain tumour

A Charters Towers mother whose life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour is suing the Townsville Hospital and Health Service for more than a million dollars.

Lynette Bowden filed the medical negligence claim at the Townsville Supreme Court in December alleging that despite multiple visits to hospitals over a number of years, doctors missed the signs of a serious tumour that impacted her vision and speech.

In 2017, she attended Mount Isa Hospital, which falls outside of Townsville's health service, complaining of issues with her right ear including hearing loss, ongoing pain, infection and tinnitus.

The lawsuit claimed a CAT scan taken at the time found abnormalities in parts of her skull, in the sphenoid and orbit bones, and that a handwritten report from the doctor noted the results were not mentioned or discussed as the abnormalities were in a different area to the symptoms and it was concluded that no follow-up was required.

In February 2018 Ms Bowden presented to a hospital managed by the Townsville Hospital and Health Service with symptoms including blurry vision, slurring, facial droop, pins and needles and a headache described as being eight out of 10 in severity.

Lynette Bowden and her family's world was turned upside down following Ms Bowden's diagnosis of a rare brain tumour in 2019.
Lynette Bowden and her family's world was turned upside down following Ms Bowden's diagnosis of a rare brain tumour in 2019.

Tests including a full blood count, UEG, chest X-ray, liver and thyroid function tests and a non-contrast CT scan were ordered.

The civil claim alleged the Townsville Hospital and Health Service failed to conduct a neurological exam, make a differential diagnosis or advise Ms Bowden that her CT and MRI tests "showed thickening of the sphenoid wing, which indicated a tumour was present".

 

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At one point in 2018, the court documents claimed, doctors diagnosed Ms Bowden with bronchitis and a lower respiratory tract infection.

After several other hospital visits and numerous tests, she was referred for neurosurgical review in November 2019.

Lynette Bowden's surgery to remove a rare brain tumour is estimated to cost $100,000 and the family are rallying for funds.
Lynette Bowden's surgery to remove a rare brain tumour is estimated to cost $100,000 and the family are rallying for funds.

In December 2019 she was seen by doctors in the neurosurgical outpatient clinic and given a diagnosis of a probable en plaque meningioma, a rare and aggressive tumour.

Ms Bowden is claiming $1,455,415 in damages.

She claims the delayed diagnosis resulted in her suffering neurological injury, difficulty with speech, reduced vision and hearing and a number of other conditions.

The lawsuit alleges the hospital service failed to "exercise reasonable care and skill in the provision of medical treatment", did not properly examine Ms Bowden when she presented to hospital on three occasions and failed to appreciate the "significance" of her previous test results.

A Townsville Hospital and Health Service spokeswoman declined to comment on the case as it was before the court.

Originally published as Mum sues hospital for $1.4m over missed brain tumour


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