Health

Mother, 34, who suffered a stroke was told by GP to go home and have a MANICURE

Mother, 34, who suffered a stroke was told by GP to go home and have a MANICURE ‘to cheer herself up’

  • Kerri-Ann Wool had a sudden severe headache, distorted vision and dizziness
  • One GP told her to ‘go and get her nails done to cheer herself up’
  • MRI scan revealed evidence of a stroke – a blood clot – in her cerebellum 
  • She discovered she had had a stroke when she requested her medical records

A young mother suffering severe headaches was repeatedly turned away by GPs and hospital doctors – who all missed the fact she had suffered a stroke.

Kerri-Ann Wool was told she was suffering from migraines, tension headaches and even postnatal depression after she experienced a sudden severe headache, distorted vision and dizziness.

One GP even prescribed antidepressants and told her to ‘go and get her nails done to cheer herself up’.

An MRI scan eventually revealed evidence of a stroke – a blood clot – in her cerebellum, the part of the brain which controls balance, but a consultant missed it. 

Kerri-Ann Wool was told she was suffering from migraines, tension headaches and even postnatal depression after she experienced a sudden severe headache, distorted vision and dizziness

It meant Mrs Wool, 34, discovered she had had a stroke only when she requested her medical records a year later. The diagnosis was written in her MRI results.

It is now too late for her to receive treatment for the stroke and she continues to suffer symptoms which prevent her from returning to work as a school kitchen assistant. She said: ‘I felt like I was being fobbed off as a hysterical woman. I couldn’t get anyone to take me seriously.’

The mother-of-three from Portsmouth experienced vision distortion and an intense headache at the base of her skull on September 18, 2018. Later that day, a GP suggested it might be a blood pressure problem and sent her home.

As the symptoms got worse, she visited the practice over the next three days, seeing a different GP each time. On the final visit, she burst into tears and was told by a male GP she probably had postnatal depression. He gave her antidepressants and encouraged her to get a manicure.

After being given paracetamol and told to go home by medics at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, she was finally referred for an MRI scan at Southampton General Hospital on September 29.

But incredibly, although the scan report revealed she had suffered a stroke, a consultant at University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust overlooked the diagnosis.

Mrs Wool was eventually diagnosed with a hole in her heart, which could have triggered the stroke. She underwent surgery in July 2021 to close it.

University Hospital Southampton and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trusts said they were unable to comment.

Mrs Wool has received support from the charity Different Strokes, which supports the one in four stroke patients who are under 65. 

Austin Willett, the charity’s chief executive, said: ‘Kerri-Ann says she was told again and again that she was “too young to have had a stroke”. 

‘This is something we hear too often from the community of young stroke survivors we work with.

‘Stories like hers show us how much work we still have to do to challenge a lack of awareness and misconceptions about strokes in younger people. 

‘Strokes happen commonly to people of all ages but can be missed because of a false idea that strokes only happen to older people.’

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