A Victorian grandmother, whose early-stage lung cancer was overlooked twice by doctors years ago, has now learned she is terminally ill.
Trish Makin has had both lungs partly removed but says the medical professionals she trusted with her life have let her down.
X-rays on the grandmother, from Euroa in Victoria’s northeast, in 2010 and 2011 showed a tumour on her lung, but radiologists from different organisations missed it both times.
“I was always the nan that was out there playing footy or cricket or totem tennis. So now I’m at last-stage terminal cancer – stage four.
Ms Makin, who said she did not show symptoms of her illness – except for the tumour – and did not have a cough, is now suing her radiologists for her shortened life expectancy, loss of earnings, her pain, suffering and anxiety.
“My little grandson said to me, ‘Nan, do you know when you’re going to die yet?’ And I went, ‘No, sweetheart, not yet.’
“He said, ‘Because I don’t want you to die.’”
Slater & Gordon Lawyer Paula Pulitano says her firm is seeing more and more cases of catastrophic medical errors.
“Every type of issue from missed fractures to delayed diagnosis of cancer to missed brain tumours… we do, across the practice, see a lot of these cases,” Ms Pulitano said.
The College of Radiologists says its members undergo at least 12 years of training to become qualified, followed by continuing professional development.
In the past year, radiologists reviewed more than 27 million scans and the college says errors are very rare.