THE family of a Redditch mum has claimed she was left severely disabled after failings in her care at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Ria Doak’s family, through lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, claim that doctors originally diagnosed a blood clot in her brain as a migraine.

The secondary school teacher was rushed to hospital in December 2019 after her husband Jeff found her screaming in pain and frothing at the mouth.

He claims she underwent a CT scan in hospital, but it was reported as showing "no abnormality".

However, the family has claimed it was later reviewed by a different clinician who found she actually had a partially blocked artery – a sign of a stroke.

The mum-of-one, now aged 44, was displaying stroke-like symptoms including weakness in her left side, headache and slurred speech.

Jeff claims that doctors believed she had "hemiplegic migraine", which is a rare type of migraine which can cause temporary weakness on one side of the body.

The following day Ria was admitted to intensive care where her family claims it was confirmed she had suffered a major stroke as a result of a blocked artery.

Ria's family, including Jeff, aged 61, and 10-year-old daughter Mya - were told to "prepare for the worst".

She spent more than a month in hospital and nearly five months in a specialist rehabilitation unit before returning to her Redditch home.

Jeff instructed medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate Ria's care at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

The law firm is now working with the Trust to reach a settlement which will fund the specialist support Ria requires.

Redditch Advertiser: The family together before Ria's strokeThe family together before Ria's stroke (Image: Irwin Mitchell)

Dr Christine Blanshard, chief medical officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are very sorry for the failings in Ms Doak’s care and are pleased that a resolution of the liability issues was able to be reached.

"We are working closely with her legal representatives to ensure a settlement is reached that will mean Ms Doak’s needs are met now and in the future.”

Ria, who had to give up her teaching career as head of geography at a local secondary school, is now dependent on others for all aspects of her care.

She has limited mobility and requires a wheelchair. Ria needs equipment to transfer her out of bed, is constantly supervised and has carers visit four times a day.

Ria and Jeff are now using World Stroke Day (October 29) to speak for the first time about the "devastating" impact the care issues have had on their family.

Jeff said: “Before Ria’s stroke we really enjoyed life as a family. We enjoyed holidays, days out; all of the things that families do and take for granted.

“Ria was a fun and loving person. She was independent and outgoing and had many friends. Seeing her struggle day after day is heartbreaking.

“Despite everything we’re so proud of the determination Ria shows every day but even more than three years on, it remains incredibly upsetting to think how Ria’s life has been devastated and she’ll never be the same person again.

“My focus now is on ensuring Ria can receive the best support she can to live the best life possible".

Emma Rush, the specialist medical negligence lawyer representing the family, said: “Ria suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of her major stroke which we believe would have been avoided if the results of the initial CT scan had been correctly interpreted.

“We believe that instead of being transferred for specialist surgery on the same day, Ria did not receive the care she should have done leading to her being left severely disabled".