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Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
'Wayne was in a lot of pain'
Stella and Wayne Jowett
Stella and Wayne Jowett comforted their son as he died
The family of a teenager who died after a cancer drug was wrongly injected into his spine have given their first interview.

Wayne Jowett, aged 18, died in February at the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, after the drug Vincristine was wrongly administered.

Wayne was unconscious for almost a month after the mistake, before dying slowly from a creeping paralysis that eventually stopped his heart.

His parents Wayne and Stella told how they comforted their dying son during his last month.

Wayne's parents Stella and Wayne held their weeping son after hospital doctors told of the blunder that would eventually cost his life.

They had been greeted at the hospital by doctors who immediately apologised and told them of the mistake and their efforts to save Wayne's life.

It was not until two or three days before he died that we gave up hope

Mr Wayne Jowett

Doctors at first told Wayne they were hopeful they could save his life and started immediately on emergency treatment to try and reverse the mistake.

Mr Jowett said his son had been distraught when he first learned of the mistake.

"He was devastated, really devastated.

"He broke down crying and we comforted him."


Mrs Jowett said Wayne had always been apprehensive about going in for his lumbar punctures and that January 4 had been no exception.

She said: "They frightened him and they are not pleasant for anybody. It took him days to get the courage up."

Wayne Jowett
Wayne Jowett died a month after the fatal injection

The doctors took Wayne to theatre and put a drain into him to try and flush the Vincristine out of his system.

He was unable to be sedated because doctors needed to see how much damage had been done to him, but he was allowed pain killers.

Mrs Jowett said Wayne "was in a lot of pain".

"His body would go into spasms it was not comfortable."

He rapidly started to deteriorate, but then his condition levelled out and his father said they began to hope that Wayne's life could be saved.

"It was not until two or three days before he died that we gave up hope."

The Jowetts said they are only just beginning to come to terms with their son's death.

Mrs Jowett said: "You don't feel anything, you just feel numb. We were angry that it happened it is just unbelievable it can happen."

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See also:

19 Apr 01 | Health
Drug blunder death 'accidental'
19 Apr 01 | Health
New rules to save patients' lives
02 Feb 01 | Health
Drug blunder patient dies
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