A FORMER doctor says he was let down by his profession after other medics failed to spot the condition which led to his wife suffering a debilitating stroke.

Dr Colin Barron said that symptoms which should have revealed his wife Vivien was living with a tumour on her heart were not properly diagnosed and better medical procedures should have been put in place.

Mrs Barron has been left profoundly disabled after suffering a stroke in 2011 which robbed her of her mobility, much of her sight and speech and the use of her right hand.

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Her condition would have been uncovered if medics had linked rashes on her hands and feet to the tumour – something which is known to happen – but they failed to spot the dangers.

Dr Barron is also calling for a better system of compensation for patients affected by medical negligence after he suffered a heart attack which he believes was caused by the stress of fighting a legal battle to bring NHS Scotland to account.

He has recorded his experiences in a book, titled ‘A Life by Misadventure’, in the hopes that the couple’s story will help others avoid similar medical emergencies.

Dr Barron, 61, said: “Both our lives have been destroyed by this dreadful mistake and both the politicians and the medical profession need to learn lessons from this tragedy.

“If just one person in the world avoids a stroke because of what I have written in this book then I will consider it a success.”

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Mrs Barron’s problems began in 2009, when she developed red spots on her hands and feet and began to suffer other health problems, such as swollen joints.

She was diagnosed with vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, yet all treatments failed and doctors eventually said that they did not know what was wrong with her.

In fact, the rashes were being caused by a heart tumour, which releases particles into the bloodstream which makes their way to the skin.

A number of scientific papers have been published warning specialists to watch out for the condition in patients with vasculitis.

However, none of this was picked up and Mrs Barron, then aged 55, collapsed from a stroke at home in Dunblane while taking a bath.

Her husband writes: “Friday, 20 May 2011, is a date I will never forget. It was the day my wife nearly died – the day she lost the ability to speak. It was the day she had a massive stroke, the day our lives changed forever."

“I’m going to have a bath,’ she said. It was the last thing she would say for several weeks, the final words she would ever speak in her normal voice.”

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Mrs Barron was left with severe brain damage and is now semi-paralysed, blind in one eye and with limited vision in the other. The mother-of-two lost most of her speech and cannot read or write. Dr Barron has given up work to care for her.

He launched a legal battle with NHS Scotland over his wife’s treatment, eventually settling out of court. But he believes the stress of the situation contributed to a heart attack he suffered in 2015.

Dr Barron, a former ophthalmologist, said: “I believe the present system of compensation for the victims of medical accidents is unfair. The requirement that claimants prove negligence means that many compensation cases fail even though on a common-sense basis they seem to have merit.

"I think the solution is for the Government to introduce a no-fault compensation scheme similar to that which operates in Scandinavian countries, which would avoid the need to prove negligence in court.”

The Scottish Government launched a consultation on switching to a ‘no-fault’ compensation scheme last year.

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A spokesman said: “Ministers are considering responses to the consultation on a no-blame redress scheme, and how this fits with the wider issues of supporting people affected by harm and openness and learning when things go wrong. Next steps will be outlined in due course.”