Sarah Boyle, 28, is a resident of Staffordshire, England, and is a mother of two adorable children. Her doctor, Sankaran Narayanan from Royal Stroke University Hospital, misdiagnosed her of having breast cancer. This time, Boyle fights to end misdiagnosis.
Normally, people rejoice with the announcement of a cancer misdiagnosis, but for it to come six months after already receiving multiple rounds of treatment, it’s a nightmare.
“Being told I had cancer was awful, but then to go through all of the treatment and surgery, to then be told it was unnecessary was traumatizing.”
Boyle’s traumatic experience began when she was 25 years old, three years ago, in late 2016. She noticed that her firstborn son, then six months old, was having trouble when she breastfed him. Boyle said that his son was “very distressed” as she attempted to feed him from her right breast.
At the hospital, Boyle underwent a biopsy and scan. Doctors then diagnosed her with triple-negative breast cancer and immediately sent her for chemotherapy treatment.
Boyle also underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery that was supposedly meant to combat her cancer, but by July 2017, doctors told Boyle that there was an error with the prior diagnosis and that she did not have cancer, to begin with.
However, she was also told that aggressive cancer treatments have already caused the potential to harm her chances with fertility in the future.
The England native’s lawyers also noted that there are suspicions over the breast implants used for her reconstruction surgery that they could potentially lead to a rare form of cancer.
“As if that wasn’t bad enough, I am now worried about the possibility of actually developing cancer in the future,” Boyle said.
Sarah Sharples, a legal expert representing Boyle, said: ‘This is a truly shocking case in which a young mother has faced heartbreaking news and a grueling period of extensive treatment, only to be told that it was not necessary. The entire experience has had a huge impact on Sarah in many ways.”
Other than the physical toll that Boyle underwent from the unnecessary treatment, her lawyers also noted that she also experienced impacts on her mental health and continues to go through the psychological trauma of the whole ordeal.
In a statement to The Telegraph, a spokesperson from the University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust, the company that owns Royal Stokes Hospital, apologized and revealed that the misdiagnosis was due to a “human error.”
“A misdiagnosis of this kind is exceptionally rare, and we understand how devastating this has been for Sarah and her family,” the NHS Trust added. “Sarah continues to be in regular contact with the clinical team who treated her, and they are always available to discuss any ongoing concerns she may have.”
Since the misdiagnosis, Boyle has welcomed another child, a son named Louis, with her husband Stephen, 31.
“The past few years have been incredibly difficult for me and my family,” Boyle told The Telegraph. “While I was delighted when I gave birth to Louis [born Dec. 2018], it was really heartbreaking when I couldn’t breastfeed him.”
Today, Boyle and her family are pursuing legal action against the hospital not only because of the medical negligence that caused her so much suffering but also to ensure that others will not have to go through the same experience.
“While nothing will change what I’ve been through, I really need some answers on what is being done to make sure nobody else suffers in the same way I have,” Boyle said.
Her lawyers told The Telegraph that while “the NHS has admitted to the clear failings, we are yet to hear if any improvements have been put in place to prevent something like this happening again.”
Currently, the NHS trust said that they recognize the error and, from now on, will place “an extra safeguard, a second pathologist now reviews all invasive cancer diagnoses.