A man with Edinburgh connections was rushed into A&E after collapsing while trying to get to the toilet in a hotel room – just two days after being discharged by doctors.
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Birmingham declared 37-year-old Shaun Cregen medically fit for discharge after spending three months in the city and arranged for him to be transferred out of the hospital.
The photographer was diagnosed 18 months ago with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, which has led to further complications, including a brain slump. This results in Mr Cregen suffering a number of effects, including blacking out and fainting when sitting up or standing as the circulation cuts off to his brain.
With no friends or relatives in Birmingham, he decided to be transported to a hotel in Cambridge so he could be close to a neuroradiologist who told him he could perform the procedure that is needed.
Just two days later he was found sprawled out on the floor by a cleaner at the hotel and the was rushed into A&E.
After developing acute renal failure in Birmingham, doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge identified a blood clot in his left leg.
Mr Cregen, whose mum lives in Edinburgh, told the Evening News: “Everything is a struggle from trying to get food to having a shower.
“With this condition something can happen and I could die at any time. I try not to focus on that, but it is in the back of my mind. It is terrifying – I never thought I’d be put in a position of such fear and isolation. I was lucky I was found when I was.”
Mr Cregen has travelled the world as a photographer and says he returned to the UK to be with his poorly mum, Rose, who lives in Edinburgh. After flying in from Hamburg in July, he collapsed at a hotel in Birmingham and was admitted to hospital.
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Birmingham does not carry out the procedure needed to help Mr Cregen.
The trust has also billed him for £18,000 form treatment after it was unable to verify a number of documents provided by Mr Cregen. This has been contested by the patient, who claims to have handed more than enough proof that he is eligible for treatment including passport, bills and his NHS number.
Mr Cregen said: “It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest I’m not a British citizen. I have provided all the relevant documents. My plan is to also return to live in Edinburgh with my mum, who is not well. But I can’t prove that they were my intentions. It is unbelievable – animals don’t even get treated this way.”
He will be kept in hospital over the weekend until doctors can carry out further tests today. Shaun’s mum Rose, who lives in Edinburgh, said: “I can’t get my head around it all. I’m worried sick. We knew something like this would happen because there is no way he was fit enough to be discharged. It is as if he was just put on the scrapheap.
“It has impacted his mental wellbeing too now and I hope now he can get the treatment he needs.”