Sheffield bank worker who fell from ladder ‘may never walk properly again’ after doctors misdiagnosed ruptured achilles tendon as cramp

David Waller, of Beighton, is seeking compensation after Rotherham Hospital failed to spot a fractured leg and snapped achilles tendon after he fell off a ladder. Picture: Andrew Roe
David Waller, of Beighton, is seeking compensation after Rotherham Hospital failed to spot a fractured leg and snapped achilles tendon after he fell off a ladder. Picture: Andrew Roe

Sheffield man David Waller may never walk properly again after doctors missed serious injuries when he fell from a ladder.

David, aged 58, was rushed to A&E at Rotherham Hospital when he was knocked unconscious after falling while cleaning guttering in July.

Despite an X-ray doctors failed to spot his broken leg and diagnosed his ruptured achilles tendon as cramp. They sent him home to Beighton with crutches and painkillers.

It was only when David went for a routine appointment at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield a week later that his fractured tibia was discovered.

His consultant was satisfied it was healing well and did not need further treatment.

But the pain in his ankle did not ease and an MRI scan at the Claremont Private Hospital, in Sheffield, last week revealed bank worker David had ruptured his achilles tendon.

He is now preparing to undergo a lengthy and complex operation next week.

Jackie Sands, David’s partner, said: “This could be life changing.

“He might never be the same again. He may never be able to walk properly.

“The surgeon said two windows of opportunity have been missed with his achilles and for the best results it needs to be treated within 12 hours.

“David has an inch gap and it would have meant straightforward key hole surgery. Now he has got to have more complex surgery.”

David faces six weeks in a cast and will not be back on his feet for six more weeks.

The couple have now instructed a solicitor to look into David’s case and have written a letter of complaint to Rotherham Hospital.

Jackie, aged 41, added: “When you speak to different people about the accident they say the achilles tendon is one of the first things they should have looked for.

“We believe it’s a clear case of misdiagnosis.

“If David had been diagnosed straight away he would have been back at work by now. Instead he will not be able to go back until February.”

Tracey McErlain-Burns, chief nurse at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am sorry to hear about Mr Waller’s ongoing problems.

“We are working closely with Mr Waller to investigate his concerns and provide him with answers to all of his questions.”