A MAN said his life has been changed forever after ‘failed operations’ said to have been performed on him by a surgeon.
Simon Evans, 30, suffered a slipped disc in 2010 while working as a HGV driver, but now, after four operations to try to fix the problem, he has been left in constant pain.
He claims he was operated on four times by Professor Muftah Eljamel at Ninewells Hospital, but was never made aware of the risks of the procedures and the failed surgery has left him unable to walk without the aid of a crutch.
Prof Eljamel has been at the heart of several legal bids launched against NHS Tayside in recent years.
Today, Simon told the Tele how his life has been turned upside down.
He said: “I’m in pain 24 hours a day and I can’t feel 40% of my right leg.
“It has also caused testicular pain and makes me feel like I need the toilet all the time, as well as pain in my whole back and neck.
“I have to take nine tablets, four times a day and that’s actually less than I used to, plus I take oral morphine four times a day, although I try not to.
“I wake up at night and have to get the mattress turned over because it’s soaking wet with sweat. The pain is excruciating.”
Simon, from Newport, left Madras College and became a HGV driver, where it is thought he suffered the slipped disc due to lifting heavy items.
At the time he didn’t realise what it was and went back to work for six months after a short break, but the pain became worse and it was determined that a slipped disc had affected the nerves in his back.
Part of a spinal disc was shaved down in an operation on December 8 2010, but Simon had to return for more surgery in July 2011.
One year later, the former Newport Primary pupil was back under the knife for a lumbar decompression operation and at first it seemed to have eased the pain.
Simon said: “The third one worked out quite well until I took my girlfriend’s bairns down to Blackpool and my back suddenly went again. She had to drive me back through the night to A&E. I had a fourth and final operation and that was the worst.
“I woke up and I couldn’t feel my legs at all, so I immediately thought it hadn’t gone well.
“Ever since then, my life has changed forever. I can still walk about, thankfully, but only with a crutch. I can’t walk far, though.
“The shops at the end of the road are even too far.”
Simon has launched legal action through solicitors at Thompsons and could expect to win more than £100,000 if successful.
He said: “I want to know if I made a mistake or if it was them. All I know is that I am the only person in Britain to have had that many operations on one part of my back. No one has had as many as me.
“At first, we weren’t going to do anything and it’s nothing to do with money. If someone gave me £1 million, it wouldn’t matter.”
Despite facing up to a life of pain and immobility, Simon tries to keep positive but he finds it hard to understand how Prof Eljamel never faced the allegations made against him before moving to the US.
He said: “Eljamel was a ghost in my case. I never even met the guy, he would always send a student or somebody else to speak to me. I have never been one to sit around the house. I loved getting up at 3am or 4am to drive the lorries, but, unfortunately, I can’t do much nowadays.
“I’ve a couple of friends I do remote control stuff with, like flying drones or racing cars, but not a lot else.
“To be honest, I’ve just come to terms with it now. It’s been and gone and I need to get on with my life.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “We cannot comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality. We became aware of the concerns around Professor Eljamel through our standard clinical governance processes and carried out a prompt and thorough investigation into the issues raised.
“We’ve spoken to all patients who have been directly affected and offered them all the opportunity to have their case reviewed.”
Prof Eljamel couldn’t be reached for comment.