Widow hits out at Doncaster hospital after missing cancer which claimed husband's life

Gamil Ali and his wife Samantha.
Gamil Ali and his wife Samantha.

A widow is calling for lessons to be learned after a Doncaster hospital failed to spot the cancer which claimed her husband’s life.

Gamil Ali had been referred to Mexborough’s Montagu Hospital for an X-ray after complaining of shoulder pain following a fall from his bike.

Mr Ali died from cancer after signs of the disease were missed.

Mr Ali died from cancer after signs of the disease were missed.

Staff found no fractures, however, they failed to pick up a lesion on his right lung and erosion of one of his ribs – signs of his cancer.

Gamil, of Goldthorpe, Barnsley, who was known as Mali, was diagnosed with terminal cancer nine months later following a further X-ray. He died five months later, aged 45, after the cancer had spread to his brain.

Following his death Mali’s wife, Samantha, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care her husband received at the hands of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Montagu Hospital.

Samantha has now joined her legal team in calling for the Trust to learn lessons from her husband’s death.

Mr Ali died in 2013.

Mr Ali died in 2013.

It comes after the Trust agreed an out of court settlement to help provide for Samantha, who has spina bifida, and her two children, who Mali was stepfather to. The Trust had denied liability.

Anne Brundell, expert medical negligence solicitor at Irwin Mitchell representing Samantha, 36, said: “Although Mali’s cancer was incurable it is still extremely worrying that the Hospital Trust failed to spot it.

"Delays in diagnosing Mali’s cancer meant he was not urgently referred for treatment which we believe would have allowed him to live longer and spend more time with his family.

“Instead his condition deteriorated significantly in the last few months of his life, requiring him to be admitted to hospital and a hospice for palliative care.

“We now call on Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to ensure it learns lessons from Mali’s case. Such delays in other cases could have even more heart-breaking consequences with regards to a patient being diagnosed with terminal cancer when an early diagnosis would have meant their cancer was curable.”

Mali, full-time carer for his wife, visited his GP in July 2012 after hurting his right shoulder blade when falling from his bike. He was referred to Montagu Hospital for an X-ray that September.

Over the coming months Mali continued to complain of shoulder and chest pain. In May 2013 he was referred to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital for an X-ray, the results of which were ‘suspicious’. His cancer was confirmed the following month following a CT scan.

Over the coming months his condition rapidly deteriorated and Mali was admitted to Barnsley Hospital and then the town’s hospice. Mali died at home on 30 November, 2013.

Samantha said: “Mali was such a loving and caring husband who would do anything for his family. He was the bedrock of our family. He was great with the children and would do everything around the house.

“To see Mali in so much pain as the cancer took hold was heart-breaking While we know he would not have survived, we are angry that the delays in Mali’s diagnosis meant that we did not get to spend more time together as a family and create more memories we could look back on.

“I just hope that the Hospital Trust realises the hurt that our family continues to live with so other families don’t have to suffer like we are having to.”