Hayley Wyatt suffered – and DIED – from the most painful condition on Earth

https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/hayley-wyatt-suffered-from-the-most-painful-condition-on-earth-20180715-p4zrnt.html

Hayley Wyatt’s last words in this world were “mum, mum”. She was sitting on the sofa, and calling out for help.

Then there was a pause. She said “mum” one last time. It sounded urgent.

But there was nothing Charlotte Wyatt could do to help her daughter.

Hayley's family wants answers.
Hayley’s family wants answers.

Now the family says Hayley was neglected by the New Zealand medical team who cared for her because they didn’t know enough about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – described by experts as the most painful condition on earth.

Wyatt watched helplessly as her daughter died from complications from the illness. She called an ambulance – it took 10 minutes to arrive. But it “felt like hours”.

When they did finally arrive, the paramedics rushed the family outside while they tried to jolt Hayley back to life with defibrillator paddles.

“When they came out and told us she was dead we just dropped to the ground. I’ve had a gaping hole inside me ever since.”

Hayley's mother, Charlotte Wyatt, has laid complaints with the Bay of Plenty district health board and ACC.
Hayley’s mother, Charlotte Wyatt, has laid complaints with the Bay of Plenty district health board and ACC.

Photo: Supplied

Hayley spent the final four years of her life fighting Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – a chronic disorder of the nervous system that can be more painful than childbirth.

The McGill Pain Index lists it as more agonising than the amputation of a finger or toe without painkillers.

CRPS is an invasive neurological disease that causes the nervous system to become irregular and send signals to a limb that it’s in acute pain when it’s not.

If the condition is not detected early it can often be incurable and the severe pain causes such frustration, anxiety and depression. It has also been labelled the “suicide disease” by those suffering from it.

CRPS is described by experts as the most painful condition on earth.
CRPS is described by experts as the most painful condition on earth.

Photo: Supplied

Hayley lived with this condition until her death in January this year. She was 21.

Her misery began after what seemed like an innocuous accident in 2014: slipping on a puddle of water and injuring her arm.

Wyatt says Hayley’s initial treatment made the condition worse, and it left her arm looking bruised and beaten.

“We were given the runaround, and it was a year before she was diagnosed with CRPS.”

It would be the beginning of a frustrating relationship with health professionals and New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

The CRPS spread to Hayley’s leg, causing painful open wounds which became infected.

“She was so scared to go the hospital because she knew how she was going to be treated. At times she was treated worse than a sick animal.”

The Wyatt family has lodged a complaint against the Bay of Plenty District Health Board alleging 35 instances of neglect by Hayley’s medical team.

The official complaint includes allegations Hayley was refused entry to a pathology lab because her leg was “leaking too much”, and that one nurse told her that her “leg stinks”.

In response the Bay of Plenty DHB said: “We have been working with Hayley’s family since shortly after her passing to understand and address their concerns over the care she received and we continue to do so.”

During the last four months of her life, the pain was at its worst. But Hayley was not given a pain review, despite the Wyatts “begging” Hayley’s medical team for one.”

The Bay of Plenty DHB has since admitted to the family it was an error that Hayley did not undergo a pain review.

Hayley needed a constant supply of dressings to cope with the three-litres of fluid draining out of her leg every day. Deliveries of the wrong dressings meant she waited months for the right care – the correct dressings arrived only a few days before she died.

“We had to chase doctors for prescriptions, then chase ACC to sign it. Her care and medication was constantly delayed and it could have been a different outcome for Hayley if they had helped her sooner,” her mother says.

“We pleaded for more care before Christmas, but we were told it was the holidays and they couldn’t do it.”

ACC paid $10,000 (AU$9100) for Hayley’s funeral, and wrote a $25,000 cheque to the family compensating for the 24-hour care they provided in her final months.

In response to the complaints of her care, ACC said: “A number of services were in place including attendant care, equipment, housing modifications, and nursing, as well as extensive input from the DHB. Unfortunately Hayley was often resistant to having nurses and any health professional visit her at home, and when she did see them, she often did not follow their recommendations for care.

“That impacted on our ability to ensure Hayley received the required level of care for her leg wounds when she was at home. There were also issues in ensuring she had a regular supply of the large volume of wound dressings she required, as these needed to be ordered by a registered nurse. Prescriptions are overseen by medical professionals.”

But Wyatt says Hayley was resistant because the nurse, contracted by ACC from HealthVision, had no knowledge of CRPS.

HealthVision told the Wyatt family in an apology letter that because “CRPS is so poorly understood by healthcare professionals”, her death would be used “to educate and heighten awareness in the wider team of community nurse specialists”.

“She shouldn’t have died,” says Wyatt. “I don’t want anyone else to go through what we went through.”

“We wish the professionals would own up to their mistakes because I don’t want anyone else to go through what she went through.”

6 Responses

  1. Rest on Peace Hayley. So very sorry for your loss and the torture your sweet daughter was put thru! These killers should feel every inch of the pain Hayley felt, allowing her last days and hours to be left in agony is inhumane, barbaric and should be criminal!! My support and prayers to you and your family. This torture of innocent law abiding chronically ill citizens and our vets must stop! WHERE IS THE HELP FOR SUFFERING PEOPLE?!?! DO NO HARM !!! DO NO HARM !!! LIFESAVING PAIN MEDICATION ALLOWS MANY CP PTS A QOL!!! STOP THE PROHIBITION OF LEGALLY PRESCRIBED LIFESAVING PAIN MEDICATION!!! #SHAREOURPAIN #WER1 #CDCLIES #CHRONICPAIN #CORRUPT #OPIODCRISIS #GENOCIDE #INHUMANE #PAINKILLS #DPP #ONEVOICE360 #OPIODHYSTERIA

  2. This is a tragic lack of care for Hayley and her family & friends. This barbarity must end. They’re killing us. Please let me know how I can help. Rest in peace, dear Hayley. And Gods bless your family…

  3. What is on her hand/wrist? A bruise? Looks like its covered in black hair. Hummm

  4. This is the TRUE OPIOID EPIDEMIC=LACK OF CARE.

    • So true. I was in the ER with severe chest pains and bad headache. Along with sky high blood pressure and pulse of over 140 for hours. Was denied any kind of opiates. They claimed there was a shortage and only given to cancer patients. They offered me Tylenol. I felt like I was dying and in so much pain. They ran multiple tests costing close to 10,000.00! And my cardiac enzymes were high and BP went up to 290/196..I begged for something to calm my pounding heart and all they gave me was a vistaril.. An antihistamine. Then discharged me in the same pain and hypertension and tachycardia as when I came in 6 hours earlier. Was so pissed I put a complaint in with the insurance company. No help or pain or anxiety help at all.

      • I am so sorry you too were tortured by the medical community, NEGLECTED, ABUSED, MISTREATED!! THIS MUST STOP! I URGE YOU ALL TO JOIN THE PAIN COMMUNITY ON SEPT 18TH FOR THE NATIONWIDE DON’T PUNISH PAIN RALLY 2018 !!! GOOGLE IT AND YOU WILL BE DIRECTED TO YOUR STATE PAGE WITH ALL INFO. GET INVOLVED PPL FIGHT BACK!! OUR GOVERNMENT IS KILLING OFF THE CHRONICALLY ILL = GENOCIDE!!

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