Loving parents Harold and Denise Nock have been tortured daily for four years by memories of their only daughter’s last days alive.
Wendy Nock, who had spina bifida and was wheelchair-bound, died ‘alone’ less than three hours after her parents say they listened to the professionals and went home from Dudley’s Russells Hall Hospital.
Her parents said staff had, the previous day, finally answered their pleas and agreed that a CT scan could be carried out to find out why 35-year-old Wendy was in such a lot of pain, as her stomach swelled up.
But the scan, which would have shown she needed surgery to remove an obstruction in her intestines, had not yet been done.
After a doctor told them that he was not worried about Wendy and that they should go home as it was gone 8.30pm and other patients would be disturbed, their daughter said: “Dad, I am going, I know it. Don’t leave me’.”
Mr Nock, now aged 65, a retired bricklayer, of Birmingham New Road, Dudley, said: “I nearly broke down again but held it in so’s not to upset her further.
“I reassured her that the staff would keep an eye on her through the night and that we would see her tomorrow. I wished – oh how I wished – we had stayed with her.
“Wendy died before 11pm that night, alone, without her parents there, and in pain.
“Right from the moment we brought her into hospital, the hospital let us down,” he claimed.
Ever since that dreadful night, on September 30, 2009, eight days after Wendy was admitted to hospital with stomach pains, Mr Nock has been campaigning for justice for his daughter – a bubbly, caring and sociable young woman who enjoyed pop music, shopping and making her own greetings cards.
He has written scores of letters to the hospital, medical organisations and politicians.
Now he and Mrs Nock have finally been awarded £92,000 compensation in an out of court settlement for the blunder in not arranging for a CT fast enough.
But they say they are still waiting for an apology.
Hospital chief executive Paula Clark said in a statement: “I would like to take this opportunity once again to express my sincere condolences to the family of Miss Wendy Nock.
“I have expressed my regret to Mr Nock in writing and apologised publicly for any distress caused.
“I am pleased that a financial settlement has been made.”
She declined to comment further.
But Wendy’s parents say they have not received any such apology, despite the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust having admitted that Wendy died as a result of a delay in undertaking a CT scan and surgery.
A letter to Mr Nock’s solicitors from the NHS Litigation Authority said the hospital trust admitted it ‘breached its duty to the patient for failing to perform a CT scan on September 26, 2009’.
The admission also said that had the scan been performed it would have shown a small bowel obstruction and that surgery to relieve it would have been arranged.
Mr Nock said: “Our campaign wasn’t about the money – I want a full apology and have not received one. I feel so savage towards the hospital – there’s been denial after denial and no apology.”
Mrs Nock, aged 62, said: “Wendy was our only daughter.
“But I have had no apology, although the hospital has hurt me deeply.”
Mr and Mrs Nock want the money to provide a lasting memory to their only daughter and have now set up a trust fund with the compensation, which will make charitable donations to young people with health problems.
They may use some towards financing the purchase of a smaller house after selling their present home – and say their new property would also be left in trust to help good causes after their deaths.