Cancer Victim's Family Receives $492,000 for Misdiagnosis

The family of a young British mother of two, who died from an aggressive cancer after a hospital's misdiagnosis, were awarded $492,000 Friday in an out-of-court settlement.

Lavinia Bletchly died after being sent home on three separate occasions from the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, Wales, where doctors claimed there was nothing seriously wrong with her.

On one occasion it was even suggested the 23-year-old was simply imagining she was ill.

A senior medical consultant told Bletchly she needed psychiatric attention and suggested she go home, to free her bed for more urgent cases.

Just four weeks later, the young mother died from peritonitis and malignant non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Speaking after the settlement was agreed in court, her father Arthur Bletchly said the hospital initially denied being responsible for his daughter's death and only accepted responsibility after a four-year battle.

"Today is a good day," he said. "We have the two children and that's what has kept us going."

Bletchly, who was a full-time student, first became ill in May 2004, shortly after the birth of her second child.

In February 2005, a pelvic ultrasound revealed a cyst and an exploratory operation revealed fluid above the liver. Over the next three weeks, Bletchly was admitted on three separate occasions to the Princess of Wales Hospital.

On March 7, 2005, she underwent further surgery, which revealed that an extensive malignant tumor encasing her bowel spread to her stomach. Soon after Bletchly suffered a ruptured bowel, which caused peritonitis, leading to multi-organ failure. She died March 24, 2005.

Experts said that diagnosing the cancer just four weeks earlier could have led to successful treatment, with a full life-expectancy.