top of page

Mum slams hospital as son left with life-changing brain damage

Mum slams hospital as son left with life-changing brain damage

Andrew Kent is unable to walk, talk, shower or feed himself after a fall in hospital

National World

A mum claims a hospital caused her son life-changing brain damage after he fell from a hoist while being treated for spinal injuries.

Andrew Kent, 45, was admitted to Northwick Park Hospital after being badly hurt in a motorbike crash in February last year.

The 45-year-old, from Barnet, north London, suffered fractures to his cervical spine, his skull, forearms and ribs, and permanently lost the function of his arms and legs. His injuries then worsened after he fell from a hoist used to transfer him between his bed and wheelchair during treatment on 10 May 2022.

He was immediately sent for CT scans of his head, which showed he’d suffered a brain haemorrhage. He was left with damage to his frontal lobe, leaving him unable to walk, talk, shower or feed himself, and requiring round-the-clock care.

His mum Vicki Gooding, 64, said: “Andrew had just nipped out to my mum’s on a motorbike - it was 7 o’clock in the evening. He was on his way home and a car just pulled out on him.”

The 64-year-old has now become his full-time carer and says her son is a “completely different person” after falling from the hoist. She said: “I have to be with my son - I’m just not prepared to send him off to a home. He has two head injuries and he’s a completely different person.

“He hasn’t been able to have a shower or bath for two years, and if he can’t be hoisted onto the toilet, he just can’t go. For obvious reasons, he’s still absolutely terrified of the hoist.”

Ms Gooding said Andrew was “getting on just fine” before the fall in hospital, and had been showing signs of slight improvement after working well with physiotherapists. But she says “there was nothing left of him” after he fell and his condition became “so much worse”.

He was later transferred to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington before eventually being sent home almost a year later on 5 May 2023. He now receives constant care from a team of physiotherapists, his mum, girlfriend and other family members.

But while she’s desperate to keep living with her son, Ms Gooding admits her home is inaccessible and her son has been left with “no dignity”. She explained: “He spends his days lying in a hospital bed in my living room. There’s no dignity about it at all - carers come in every day and change him, and I’m barely able to give him any privacy.

“I kicked off at Barnet Council and told them we desperately need a wheelchair ramp. Andrew has a powerchair but it’s no good if he can’t actually leave the house. He needs regular exercise because it helps with the physio - but I’m just at a loss. He can’t shower or bath - he hasn’t done so for two years.

“We need somewhere bigger - we keep slipping down the list of priorities and I just don’t see how you could get someone more disabled than Andrew. I want to keep us all together. He needs the support of his family.”

Northwick Park said it carried out an internal probe following the fall and concluded that the sling and hoist used were both adequate and operational. But the hospital added that the weight of the sling hooks may have contributed to Andrew’s fall.

Ms Gooding later received a letter from the hospital saying it was "extremely sorry" for the incident - an apology she says she does not accept. She said: “I don’t accept their apology and we were disgusted by the letter. There hasn’t been any help.”

A spokesperson for Northwick Park said: “We are very sorry for the injury sustained by Mr Kent and have apologised to him and his family. As part of our serious incident investigation, we have already undertaken an extensive review of our training and equipment checks and have made changes to prevent such an incident from occurring again. As part of this process, we have shared our investigation report and learning from it with Mr Kent and his family.”

As for Andrew and Ms Gooding’s accommodation, a Barnet Homes spokesperson said: “Barnet Homes allocates all properties according to Barnet Council’s Housing Allocations Scheme, which uses a banding system. Ms Gooding is currently in our highest priority band and we are actively seeking an alternative property for the family, which will meet their needs.

“In this case, we will be offering the family a two-bedroom wheelchair-adapted property when one becomes available, acknowledging that there is an acute shortage of social housing in London, and this may take some time. We will also ensure that this property is as close as possible to Ms Gooding’s support network.

“Work began this month to install a suitable access ramp to Ms Gooding’s current home. Initial works to install the ramp had taken place earlier this year, but a change in the family’s equipment needs caused a delay, which has now been resolved.”

bottom of page