Story in DAILY MAIL newspaper…
Danielle Eccles saw seven different health professionals 11 times at her GP surgery and had 12 different prescriptions over three years after a ladybird crawled in her ear …
By Alison Smith-Squire
18th August 2012
A few days later the NHS admin manager saw her GP and was reassured her ear was ‘clear’.
But in fact a ladybird had climbed in – and despite visiting the surgery 11 times over the next three years and being given 12 prescriptions for her increasingly blocked and swollen ear – no-one noticed.
That was until June this year when the perfectly preserved head of the ladybird suddenly fell out in her hand and she was finally referred to hospital to have the rest of the bug’s body removed.
‘It sounds funny but I thought I was going mad,’ says Mrs Eccles, 28, who is making a formal complaint to the surgery, ‘for three years I’ve been deaf in my right ear.
‘It’s made my life a nightmare. I just can’t believe no-one saw it. After all, it must be the brightest spottiest bug in the UK.’
Mrs Eccles, who lives with husband Neil, 32, a landscaper, first visited her surgery in August 2009 after feeling a strange tickling sensation in her ear.
She recalls: ‘A few nights earlier I’d felt sure a bug had crawled in my ear and was so relieved when my GP said he couldn’t seen any insect in there.’
But by May 2010 she’d gone back to the surgery six times.
‘I kept on getting ear infections and deafness. At restaurants I had to position myself at the table so my left ear was turned towards people speaking and walking along a road with someone I had to walk to their right so I could hear them properly. Neil got fed up having to say everything twice to me. ‘
She adds: ‘Before this I was rarely ill. But I’ve had to have two lots of time off work because the pain was unbearable and the antibiotics I’ve had to take ruined my immune system leaving me prone to lots of colds.’
Last year and early this year, she went back to the Elizabeth Courtauld surgery near her home in Halstead, Essex, a further five times. She recalls: ‘One doctor did see something but diagnosed it as a “glob of wax.”
‘It was only in June this year when putting some ear drops in, head and jaws of a ladybird fell out of my hand that I recalled the night I believed the insect had crawled in.’
Mrs Eccles took the beetle head to show her shocked GP, who finally referred her to an Ear Nose and Throat consultant.
She says: ‘Waiting six weeks for the appointment was difficult as by the deafness and discomfort in that ear was getting worse.’
However, within five minutes the ENT consultant had removed the insect’s body.
She says: ‘We could clearly see from its spots it was a ladybird. I was instantly able to hear again and that was such a relief. But I feel angry. I was made to feel I was making a fuss abut nothing and feel I should have been referred to a specialist much earlier.’
Dr Azhar Shaida a consultant ENT surgeon from The Harley St ENT Clinic said: ‘It would appear the ladybird was hiding behind some wax. A GP surgery does not possess the same level of equipment that an ENT specialist department has so it appears when doctors looked into the ear all they saw was wax. Because the insect body was encased in wax, it would have stopped the air getting to it so it wouldn’t have degraded.’
Mrs Eccles’ medical records:
19th Aug 2009: Ear irritation. Examination: wax
23rd Feb 2010: Serious ear discharge. Ear spray prescribed
26th feb 2010: Entire ear swollen and painful. Antibiotics and painkillers prescribed
9th March 2010: Recurrent ear infection. More antibiotics prescribed.
18th March 2010: Ear better but glob of wax seen. Steroid drops prescribed.
6th April 2010: Ear checked and no further action required.
6th April 2010: Ear swollen again
6th April 2010: Ear swollen. Antibiotics and ear drops prescribed.
17th Feb 2012: Irritated ear. Wax seen – drops prescribed.
3rd April 2012: ear feels full of ‘goo’ – ear spray prescribed
21st May 2012: Ears blocked. Asked for ENT referral.
22nd May 2012: Ears still blocked. Ear drops prescribed
11 June 2012: Head of beatle (sic) discharged. Referral ENT.
24th July 2012: Beetle removed by ENT consultant
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