A dad hobbled around in agony for four weeks after his snapped Achilles tendon was misdiagnosed as a sprained ankle.
Self-employed gas engineer Lee Seagrave suffered the painful injury when he was pushing his broken down van in preparation for a jump start.
My leg snapped, it felt like it had broken in half.Lee Seagrave
“My leg snapped, it felt like it had broken in half,” said Mr Seagrave.
He was taken to Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s A&E department by his son where medics, who carried out an X-ray, said he had simply sprained his ankle.
“They said keep it moving and that it would take about six weeks to repair,” said the 52 year old.
“I would get a shooting pain up through my leg and I kept falling over because the pain was quite intense.
“It just obviously wasn’t getting any better.
“It was very painful but because I was told six weeks, I just thought that was part of the course.”
After four weeks Mr Seagrave, of Drayton Beauchamp, near Tring, went back to hospital and after a suggestion by his girlfriend, doctors carried out a simple test for a damaged Achilles heel and then went on to do an ultrasound.
They discovered a 2.7mm gap in Mr Seagrave’s Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the bone in the heel of the foot.
He had to be admitted to Wycombe Hospital so that surgeons could reconnect the tendon ends - an operation made more complex but the delay in treatment.
Now in plaster for six weeks before facing rehabilitation sessions, Mr Seagrave is going to be off work for three months and is having to live off his savings.
He said: “It is quite depressing really being home because I’m such an active person.
“By now my six weeks would have been up. I would be back on the mend so they have just wasted four weeks.
“They got it wrong and they made a mistake.
“Since then they can’t do enough for me.”
A spokesman for Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust said: “We are not able to comment on individual cases.
“We are sorry if Mr Seagrave feels he was not happy with the care he received at our hospital. We would encourage him to contact the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service with his concerns so that we can look into the matter further.”