A granddad who went into hospital for a routine bladder operation couldn’t believe what he was being told when medics informed him he’d been accidentally circumcised.
Terry Brazier was meant to be having botox injected in his bladder, a routine procedure he’d had three times before, when he was at the Leicester Royal Infirmary for treatment last summer.
After the surgery, the 70-year-old granddad of two would usually stay on the ward for around 15 minutes and would be allowed to leave after he’d been for a wee.
But when the mistake was made, he said things were different.
“I’d been sat for longer than normal and the staff said the sister wanted to see me.
“I didn’t think anything of it at first but as time went on, it got to two hours, I was worrying about what might be wrong.
“In the end they came in and said to me ‘We’re very sorry, but we’ve circumcised you’ and I just said ‘Oh, have you?’
“What else could I say? I was stunned, I couldn’t believe what they were telling me.”
The error, recorded as a never event – a serious, largely preventable safety incident that should not occur if the available preventative measures are implemented – was one of eight made by Leicester’s Hospitals in 2018.
LeicestershireLive reported on the mistake earlier this year, and Mr Brazier, of Hinckley, has since been awarded £20,000 compensation and spoken publicly about his experience.
He said: “I was away on holiday with my wife when it was on the front page of the Leicester Mercury.
“My daughter rang me up and said I was famous and that I was in the paper, then we found out it had been everywhere, all over the world.
“People were talking on the internet about it in America and Australia.
“What I couldn’t believe though was that I wasn’t the only person that had been victim to a mistake (never event) in Leicester.
“There were quite a few in that first report about it, I was shocked.”
After the surgery, Mr Brazier, club captain at Burbage Constitutional Bowls Club, had to take time out from his hobby to recover from the surgery.
He said: “You can imagine what thirty odd members of the bowls team had to say about it, I’ve heard every joke there is.
“I had to tell them what had happened because I couldn’t play for the last few games.
“I had to take it all in good humour, they’re a good bunch but if there’s something they can take the mickey out of you about then they will.”
The dad-of-two said he decided to take legal action after he received a letter from Leicester’s Hospitals at Christmas, admitting that the necessary checks had not been carried out before the procedure took place.
Mr Brazier said: “There’s been the jokes but there is a serious side to all of this.
“It could have been even worse for someone else, someone could end up having the wrong body part amputated.”
He claimed: “It was only when I thought about it and it started to sink in that I realised they’d not done any checks at all. Someone asked me if this was my signature and that was it.
“None of the questions I’d been asked when I’d had the same thing done before.
“They carried out an operation like that on someone without knowing it was the right person.”
He added: “I didn’t want to go to court or anything but this shouldn’t have happened and more importantly I don’t want it to happen again.
“You just don’t know what might happen next.
“You go into hospital and put your trust in these people, you don’t expect mistakes to be made, especially not one like this.”
Mr Brazier, who has now made a full recovery, is scheduled in for a hip operation later this year.
He said: “They’ve sent me private for it. I’ll be asking more questions and doing more checks than they will.
“I’m not nervous about the operation but I’m going to be checking and asking everything I can before hand to make sure everything is in order.”
Andrew Furlong, medical director at University Hospitals of Leicester, said: “We remain deeply and genuinely sorry that this mistake occurred, and I would like to take this opportunity to once again apologise to Mr Brazier.
“We take events like this very seriously and carried out a thorough investigation at the time to ensure that we learnt from this incident and do all we can to avoid it happening again. “Whilst money can never undo what happened, we hope this payment provides some compensation.”