Disabled teen left to lie on freezing cold hospital floor for 12 hours


A disabled teenager admitted to A&E in absolute agony claims hospital staff left her to sleep on the FLOOR for twelve hours because there weren’t enough beds.

Abilgail Cooper on the floor in Bloomfield Hospital, Essex (SWNS Group)
Abilgail Cooper on the floor in Bloomfield Hospital, Essex (SWNS Group)

Apprentice beautician, Abigail Cooper, was taken to hospital by her mother as her feeding tube became dislodged after severe vomiting.

The 19-year-old suffers from Gastroparesis, which is a condition that has paralysed her stomach.

This means it cannot empty properly and she permanently requires a feeding tube which bypasses her stomach and goes into her small intestine.

But instead of being given a bed Abigail was left in a small communal room near A&E in Bloomfield Hospital, Essex.

She said: “I begged the staff to let me lay down, but was told I was not allowed to lie on the floor.

“I fainted because of the pain and then I was given diazepam to calm me down.

“I wanted to rest on a bed but was repeatedly told by nurses there were no beds anywhere and there was nothing they could do to help.

“I was left in a freezing cold room, with nothing in it but three chairs, a panic alarm and an automated locked door, so I grabbed a blanket and laid on the floor anyway because of the pain.”

Abigail Cooper with her fiancée Lee Thomas (SWNS Group)
Abigail Cooper with her fiancée Lee Thomas (SWNS Group)

Abigail began suffering from Gastroparesis when she hit puberty at 14 and it has affected her severely since the age of 16.

This means she requires support from her mum and fiancée and full time carer Lee Thomas, 32, who all live in Great Notley, Essex.

Abigail also suffers from hypermobility, a condition that causes pain and stiffness in her joints and muscles.

She was taken to hospital by her mother, Bettina Cooper, 52, late on March 15 when the tube became dislodged after severe vomiting.

The teenager is due to return to the hospital at the end of April to have a gastric pacemaker fitted, which will make her stomach work of its own accord, and it is hoped the operation will stop her bouts of pain.

She said: “I’ve lived with Gastroparesis for four years and hopefully next month’s operation will change my life, but I’m not looking forward to going back to Broomfield because the staff were so rude.

“I basically spent a night on the floor of the mental health waiting room.

“I am usually on a very restricted diet, of just white meat and carbohydrates, but at the moment I am living on liquids.

“Eventually I was discharged on the Wednesday at about 5pm but all the nurses could do was pump me with pain killers and send me home with liquid paracetamol.

“It was a total nightmare.”

SWNS_HOSPITAL_FLOOR_07Bettina now plans to make a compliant about the ordeal via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), which offers advice, support and information on health-related matters.

A spokeswoman for Broomfield Hospital disputed there was a bed shortage.

They said: “We are aware of this particular patient.

“All patients who come into our emergency department receive triage and the appropriate treatment and care.

“Patients who require admission may wait longer than we would like, on either a trolley or a bed, and during this time will be continually observed by our clinical staff to ensure they are safe.

“We are sorry that this patient felt unable to flag this with us and we urge her to contact our patient advice and liaison service for further advice.”


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