Sat, Dec 28th, 2013

‘I spent three weeks thinking I had terminal cancer – then doctors admitted they’d got it wrong,’ says furious mother


  • Evelina Powell, 32, was rushed to hospital in Kent after collapsing at work
  • She was given blood tests and scans which detected a possible tumour
  • Claims doctors at her local hospital in Kent said cancer had eaten away a 50 pence size hole in her skull
  • Terrified she was going to die, she began to get her affairs in order to ensure her two-year-old daughter Sophie would be cared for
  • But three weeks later, London doctors said there was nothing wrong at all
  • They suggested she may have a lesion on her brain from childhood illness
  • Says she she is still piecing her life back together after the incident

A mother spent three weeks in turmoil after doctors told her she had terminal cancer – only to discover there was nothing wrong with her.

Evelina Powell, 32, was rushed to hospital after collapsing at work and given blood tests and a CT scan.

Doctors thought she had suffered a mini-stroke which was later ruled out. An MRI scan then detected a possible tumour, instead.

Mrs Powell claims she she was told that cancer had eaten away a 50 pence sized hole in her skull.

Terrified she was going to die, she began to get her affairs in order to ensure her two-year-old daughter Sophie would be cared for.

Her family from Poland also made plans to come and visit her.

But three weeks later, experts at Charing Cross Hospital in London gave her the all clear.

Mrs Powell, who is cancer-free after developing stage three ovarian cancer in 2005, said her life ‘fell apart’ when she thought the disease had spread.

She said: ‘The first time I had cancer I was on my own but this time all I could keep thinking about was my two-year-old daughter Sophie.

‘She was my miracle baby because I was told I would not be able to have children.

‘My world just crashed to pieces when I thought I might not be able to see her growing up.

‘I would start crying when I saw something that reminded me about the holiday to Disney World we had never booked for her birthday, or the shopping trips we may never go on when she was older.

‘I cried when I saw a sign which said 2014 on it, thinking I might not be around then.

‘I spent three weeks thinking I was going to die. When I was told there was nothing, there it was just a shock. It only hit me the next day.

‘Even now I know I’m going to be OK I’m scared to go back to my doctor.’

She added: ‘I wasn’t angry with them because the NHS saved my life when I had ovarian cancer.
‘I was disappointed more than anything – I feel like they were playing God.

‘I’m still trying to put the pieces of my life back together.’

Her husband Danny, 36, a TV aerial engineer, said: ‘The doctor was so blasé about it. I said it could be anything else, but he said [to her]: ‘No, you have got cancer’.

‘It has driven my wife insane. One night she was crying in bed and just said “am I going to die?”. How can I answer that?’

The couple, of Maidstone, Kent, have complained to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust about the misdiagnosis in September.

They claim they were given a lack of information about her condition, which left them relying on the internet.

Mrs Powell says the only explanation the doctor could give for the confusion was a lesion on her head from an accident when she was a newborn.

A Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust spokesperson said: ‘We are sorry to hear that Mr and Mrs Powell were unhappy with their experience in Maidstone Hospital’s A&E in September.

‘We are always willing to look into concerns raised by our patients to establish the facts and, if necessary, respond accordingly and take appropriate action.

‘In this case, and at this time, we have received no formal complaint.’

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