‘The whole experience was beyond dreadful for Maylita’

Teenager’s operation cancelled after eight-hour wait

BY CALUM FRASER
calum@slpmedia.com

A distraught mother has criticised a South London hospital after her daughter was left stranded for eight hours waiting for an operation, before being sent home without one.

Maylita Edwards, 18, was due to have a colonoscopy at Lewisham Hospital at 7.30am on Monday, July 2.

The Catford girl stopped eating on Saturday afternoon and drank a two-litre solution to clear her stomach on Sunday, as per the doctor’s advice from her pre-operation appointment on Friday, June 29. Ms Edwards and her mother, Patricia Smith, arrived on time on the day of the supposed operation. They waited for five hours until the teenager was called to change into the hospital gown for the procedure.

Then they were left waiting another three hours before being told no anaesthetists were available, and they were sent home.

Ms Smith, 52, said: “The whole experience was beyond dreadful. It was extremely stressful and upsetting, especially for Maylita, who was in a lot of pain and discomfort.

“The level of rudeness from the staff, as well, was awful. It really made the whole situation worse. I am concerned for my daughter’s well-being and we are no closer to finding out the extent of her issues.”

Ms Edwards, who has just finished her last year at Harris Academy Beckenham, has been suffering from a severe gastro condition for more than a year.

They secured Monday’s appointment in May.

Ms Smith, of Brownhill Road, Catford, said: “It was so degrading. We have been left with zero confidence because of the treatment of my daughter. She’s such a positive girl and tries not to let it affect her mood if she can. But when it gets worse, her stomach distends and it’s awful to watch. We have a history of cancer in our family and I’m really worried. It felt like the hospital staff didn’t care. They didn’t offer an alternative appointment, instead they said the next available one was at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich and that they were unsure of when it would be.”

The pair were constantly up and down pressing the hospital staff for answers, but Ms Smith claims most of the staff were “dismissive.”

The mother-of-two has now written to Lewisham East MP Janet Daby and to the hospital.

She said: “We want this to be out there so that others do not have to go through a similar situation. There is a complaints procedure which I am going through, but it has been impossible to get any response from the hospital.”

A spokesman for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust said: “We are extremely sorry that Maylita had a negative experience at the hospital.

“We work hard to avoid cancellations of procedures on the day they are scheduled, but on this occasion fell short due to exceptional circumstances. We will be contacting her family directly to apologise and to arrange a new appointment.”

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