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Alleged delay in diagnosis of kidney failure in young dad

Stephen Higham, a young single father of two, suffered kidney failure and required a kidney transplant as a consequence of an alleged delay in diagnosis and treatment.

Stephen was on the transplant donor register for over a year awaiting a donor kidney but a match could not be found.  During this time he was dependent on regular dialysis.  His father stepped in and donated his kidney. 

Given Stephen’s young age and the limited lifespan of a donor kidney he faces the prospect of undergoing further kidney transplants.

Sharon Banga, supporter of the charity and associate in the medical negligence team of national law firm, Access Legal is representing Stephen in a medical negligence claim.  The alleged delay in diagnosis and the subsequent kidney failure has had a significant impact on his life and that of his family. 

While undergoing daily dialysis treatment and then the transplant surgery, Stephen was unable to work and relied heavily on the care and support of his family to look after him and his two young daughters. 

Travelling to and from the dialysis sessions was tiring, at times boring and quite depressing as he spent a lot of time alone in an unfamiliar environment away from his family and friends.  Stephen said:

‘I was unknowingly suffering from kidney failure for a long time.  It was only when I had a blood test and was given the urgent results by telephone informing me that I had about 4% kidney function and should get straight to hospital,  that I found out I had kidney problems at all.  It certainly never occurred to me and my GP seemingly didn’t consider the possibility either because he assumed I had age and fitness on my side.   Anything the charity can do to raise awareness of kidney failure among younger people and medical staff and help improve support for younger people is to be welcomed.’

Access Legal can provide initial legal advice without any obligation to anyone who has suffered kidney failure, particularly if they have concerns about their medical treatment or need advice about family matters. The firm has offices in Nottingham and throughout the UK, from Southampton to Edinburgh.   Legal services for individuals and their families range from claiming compensation for serious personal injury and writing or challenging the provisions in a Will to handling legal disputes, gaining compensation for medical negligence and advice concerning injuries at work or through industrial disease and education law matters.

Visit their website at

or email Sharon - - for more information and help.

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