Richard Saberton

Richard Saberton, 71, suffered from neck and shoulder pain that turned out to be sepsis. He was not given antibiotics for three hours and was left with irreversible paralysis

Richard Saberton, 71, was left with irreversible paralysis

Image: Irwin Mitchell / SWNS)

A father of three has received a hospital payout after a three-hour antibiotic delay paralyzed him for life.

Richard Saberton, 71, suffered from neck and shoulder pain that turned out to be sepsis.

Since the man received no antibiotic for another three hours, he was left with irreversible paralysis.

Richard was admitted to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on November 5, 2016 after complaining of neck and shoulder pain, confusion, and language difficulties.

He underwent a triage assessment and the results indicated that he suffered from sepsis.

The condition occurs when the body overreacts to an infection and starts damaging its own tissues and organs, explains the NHS.

The main signs of sepsis are slurred speech, confusion, extreme tremors and muscle pain, not urinating in a day, severe shortness of breath, and blotchy or discolored skin.

In the hospital, Richard was given no antibiotic three hours and days later, could no longer walk and also had weak arms.

Richard Saberton with his family


Irwin Mitchell / SWNS)

An MRI scan also revealed that he had a spinal abscess that needed surgery.

Richard said, “It’s been almost five years since I was paralyzed and it took me a long time to get used to not doing much of what I used to do.

“I used to be an avid cook and gardener and loved to travel a lot, but I am now much more limited in what I can do and rely on Lynn and our children for most of the time.

“I’m still struggling to process what happened.

“Luckily the support I had held out and now we have our new home which makes it a lot easier for me to get around.

“I know there is nothing I can do about what happened, so now I just want to warn others about what to look out for with sepsis and how important it is to treat it early.

“I don’t want others to go through what I have.”

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Richard directed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to review his care under the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates the hospital.

The legal team has successfully reached an undisclosed settlement for Richard that will provide him with access to the ongoing specialized therapies and treatments he needs.

The Trust acknowledged that, according to the protocol, the former construction worker should have been given antibiotics within “about an hour” of the assessment.

The funds have also helped provide Richard with a new home, adapted to his needs, that he and his wife, Lynn, 72, moved into last month.

Rachelle Mahapatra, who represented Richard, said, “Richard’s life has been turned upside down in a matter of days and he and his family are struggling to cope with what has happened to him.

“Although nothing can change what he has been through, we are pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement that will give him access to the care he needs to live as independently as possible.

“To hear that he has now moved into his adapted home is great news. His new home will allow him to live a much more independent life.

“Unfortunately, through our work, we come across a number of people who are affected by sepsis. It is important that people are aware of the symptoms, as early detection and treatment are key to combating them.

“World Sepsis Day seemed a fitting time for Richard to share his story, to raise awareness of the potential dangers.”