Family

Woman alleges doctor’s mistakes led to her husband’s premature death

A Victorian widow is suing a doctor who she alleges is responsible for her 62-year-old husband dying prematurely.

Debra Sealey’s husband Phil died at their home in Bromley, west of Bendigo in regional Victoria, in June 2019, seven hours after they visited a GP.

The widow told 9News the doctor missed several signs of a deadly condition linked to diabetes.
Debra Sealey (Nine)

Mrs Sealey said her husband threw up the whole way to the doctor, was very thirsty and was having trouble with his vision.

He was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis – a serious complication of diabetes.

Mr Sealey did not know he had diabetes, but the disease would have been indicated by a simple blood sugar check.

He was instead sent home with unrelated medication including anti-nausea tablets.

“The doctor had also said in regards to his vision that he should see an optometrist,” Mrs Sealey said.

At home Mr Sealey’s condition quickly got worse.

Phil Sealey (Nine)

Mrs Sealey called for an ambulance but he died as paramedics arrived.

Now Shine Lawyers is acting for Debra, filing proceedings against the doctor involved in the Supreme Court.

“If the doctor had recognised the symptoms Philip would likely still be with us today,” Mrs Sealey’s lawyer has argued.

Independent medical experts have backed the lawsuit, agreeing the GP failed in his duty of care.

The doctor admitted to a coronial investigation he needed to be more vigilant in assessing patients with undiagnosed diabetes.

He said would utilise equipment, like a finger prick blood sugar level test, in the future.

The coroner stressed more needed to be done to raise awareness of the condition among GPs.

Mrs Sealey is determined to make sure what happened to her husband and best friend does not happen to anyone else.

“I don’t think Phil was an exception, I really don’t,” she said.

“People shouldn’t be in this nightmare. This is a nightmare, it really is.”

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