Teenager Died Af Ter Doctors Denied Her Vital Scan; Fight for Answers: Sonia and Mark Lester, and, Right, Daughter Jenna, Who Had a Rare Brain Condition

Daily Mail (London), January 5, 2009 | Go to article overview

Teenager Died Af Ter Doctors Denied Her Vital Scan; Fight for Answers: Sonia and Mark Lester, and, Right, Daughter Jenna, Who Had a Rare Brain Condition


Byline: Arthur Martin

WHEN Jenna Lester's parents told doctors she had been suffering severe headaches, bouts of fainting and vomiting, they might have expected their fears of a serious illness to be shared.

But medical staff thought the 16-year-old simply had a stomach infection and did not offer a brain scan.

A week later she died of a brain haemorrhage. Now, after a legal battle lasting almost three years, the NHS has admitted that the teenager might still be alive if doctors had acted sooner.

Jenna, who had been expected to achieve straight As in her GCSEs, had been taken to the Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent, after collapsing unconscious in the bathroom.

Her parents Mark, 42, and Sonia, 40, say they told doctors their daughter had been suffering from splitting headaches for two months.

But as Jenna was not considered a 'patient of high priority', she was not sent for a brain scan.

It was only when her condition deteriorated considerably that she was finally given one - five days after she first collapsed.

The scan showed that she had a blood clot on her brain, and at that stage one of the doctors turned to her parents and said: 'We should have done the scan days ago.' Jenna, who had been made sports- woman of the year at Fort Pitt Grammar School, Chatham, was transferred to King's College Hospital, London, for an operation to remove the clot.

Doctors initially thought the surgery had been successful. But Jenna's brain swelled dramatically and she died on February 17, 2006.

Her parents spent almost three years pursuing the Trust through Health Service complaints procedures. …

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