A tragic young woman died from kidney failure after doctors misdiagnosed her symptoms as an eating disorder.
Danielle Stretton, 24, was sent home from hospital despite doctors initially identifying the potentially fatal condition.
She had been admitted with chronic stomach pains during her pregnancy in 2009, and she went on to suffer a miscarriage.
Doctors found she had kidney failure but failed to investigate the condition any further and sent her home from Nottingham’s Queens Medical Centre (QMC).
Emma, who worked at Gala Bingo, began feeling ill and went down with severe vomiting but her GP mistook the symptoms for an eating disorder.
Her mother Ruth Braddock, 58, suggested they see a nurse who carried out a blood test in early 2010.
Danielle was told that her kidneys were at ‘end stage failure’ – also known as stage five – and she had an emergency blood transfusion to stabilise her condition.
An emergency kidney transplant was carried out in October of 2010, which took a serious toll on Danielle, who showed signs of rejecting the new kidney.
Last year medical negligence lawyers secured £30,000 of compensation for Danielle on the grounds her condition should have been treated when it was first discovered.
But on Boxing Day last year Danielle was found dead in her flat, in Nottingham, by her devastated mother.
On Wednesday her heartbroken mum said: “She had used the compensation to find a new flat, furnish it and make a new start for herself.
“But at Christmas time she began feeling sick again, so on Christmas Day we took her home and said we’d see her again on Boxing Day hoping she’d be feeling better.
“The events that followed were unthinkable – the next day she wasn’t answering her phone so we went to the flat and had to break down the door.
“Danielle was just lying on the floor by her bed.
“It is beyond horrific.
“We cannot imagine our lives without our beautiful girl in it – we are utterly devastated by what has happened.”
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work effectively, is normally only seen in older adults aged 65 and over.
Ruth is now setting up a charity in her daughter’s name for young people with kidney failure.
She added: “We realised early on in Danielle’s illness that there were simply no services for young people with kidney failure.
“It is a disease predominantly associated with older people but it can affect anyone.
“We’ve called the charity Danielle’s Flutterbyes, as she was absolutely fanatical about butterflies.
“The charity will look to help people aged 16-30 with renal disease – we want to achieve something positive in memory of our beautiful little girl.”
Sharon Banga, a clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, who secured compensation for Miss Stretton, said: “It is so tragic that Danielle lost her life at such a young age, and so difficult for the family to come to terms with what has happened.
“Danielle should never have been discharged from hospital in 2009 without further investigations into her renal problems.
“After her transplant she was awarded compensation, but just as she had moved into her new flat and celebrated Christmas with her family, she was found dead
“Medical practitioners have a duty of care for their patients, and Danielle’s condition should not have been missed or ignored.”
Dr Keith Girling, Deputy Medical Director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We extend our condolences to Danielle’s family.
“Our investigation into the care provided to Danielle when she was treated as an emergency patient in 2009 found that important test results weren’t followed up when they should have been, leading to a delayed diagnosis of renal failure.
“We shared the findings of our investigation in full with Danielle’s mother and have completed a financial settlement with the family.”