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A British man has claimed he was sent home from hospital with only painkillers, despite suffering from a broken neck.
Anton Frolov fractured his neck after hitting his head on the seabed while swimming during a holiday in Phuket in 2015.
Mr Frolov, then had an x-ray at a local hospital in Phuket was given the all clear while in Thailand but decided to visit his local hospital when he returned home to Kent, England.
He was then transferred to Tunbridge Wells Hospital who sent him home with painkillers without carrying out further tests. It wasn’t until three months later the extent of his injuries were discovered.
Mr Frolov was told by a physiotherapist to go to the gym to strengthen the muscles in his back. However, that was only causing more damage.
“I had been going to the gym to try and strengthen the muscles in my neck but I was actually risking my life”, Mr Frolov told the Daily Mail.
“I was in daily pain and the only pain relief I had was paracetamol and co-codamol.”
The severity of his injury was only discovered when Mr Frolov had an X-ray at a private hospital.
“Three months after banging my head on the seabed I was still having pain so I decided to pay privately to get my spine checked.
“Once I’d had an X-ray the osteopath called me and said I had to go to hospital immediately as I had an unstable fracture in my neck”, he explained.
“It’s a bit crazy to be called and told your neck is broken, especially as I had been walking around with it for so long.”
Mr Frolov is now suing Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust for not carrying out an X-ray and has hired a legal firm who specializes in negligence to take up his case.
“When health professionals tell you everything is ok, you take their word for it. They’re the experts and you trust them.
“After finally having surgery I was told I’d been extremely fortunate and that it was something of a miracle to be walking around, as because of the fracture and the position of the broken bone, I could have been paralysed at any moment, he added.
“If I had gone a few more days without it being discovered, I don’t like to think what could have happened because I was told it was getting more dangerous day after day.”
Solicitor Sue Jackson said: “This is a shocking case where a failure as simple as not taking an x-ray could have had life-long consequences, and perhaps even fatal.
“Given our client’s injury history… and the fact there was no copy of the x-ray taken in Thailand, we argue that Tunbridge Wells Hospital should have conducted full and thorough checks, including its own x-rays.
“Even though Mr Frolov was fortunate not to suffer serious, life-changing injuries as a result of this error, he has still suffered hugely and it has had a big impact on his quality of life.
“Following surgery in which he had two bolts inserted to strengthen his neck, he has been left with restricted movement and the prospect of suffering pain for the rest of his life.”