The teenager who was in severe pain told doctors she probably had stomach bugs.


Sophie Dixon, 19, experienced cramping and ‘crippling’ pains the night prior. A scan revealed that it was far more serious than a stomach virus.

A teenager was told that her stomach pain was probably due to a stomach bug. Doctors did an emergency scan and discovered her appendix was ruptured.

Sophie Dixon, 19, took herself to Whiston Hospital A&E on November 8 after she had began experiencing ‘crippling pain’ and cramping the night before.

Sophie, who lives in St Helens’ town centre, spoke to the Liverpool Echo : “It started on November 7, late in the evening – I had what I can only describe as period-like cramps in the middle of my stomach.

“I told myself it was nothing, or just something I’d eaten, and went to bed.

“I woke up the next day with crippling pains in the middle of my stomach, it was absolutely unbearable, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think about eating or drinking, the pain was indescribable.

“The pain moved to the right side of my stomach and got progressively worse as the day went on, and then I started vomiting, so as a last resort I went to A&E.”

On arrival at the hospital’s A&E at around 8pm the following day (November 8), Sophie spotted a sign stating the average waiting time that evening would be around 11 to 12 hours – she said this is when she knew she was ‘in for a long night’.

Sophie claims that after around three hours in the A&E waiting room, she was offered paracetamol by a triage nurse to manage the pain she was experiencing and told it was likely ‘just a stomach bug’.

Sophie added: “Whilst waiting, I was hunched over, crying in pain, and vomiting.

“I waited a few more hours to see the triage nurse once again. She asked me to give her some details about the location of the pain.

“She got someone to take my bloods and said that she had to send them off and get the results back.

“I asked her to explain the cause, and she answered that it was more likely a stomach bug.

“She gave me more painkillers and sat me back in the waiting room where I waited for a further six hours before getting seen.”

Whiston Hospital spokeswoman said Sophie received regular observation and was prescribed anti-sickness medication two times between her admission and 9.10 am.

After waiting in ‘agony,’ Sophie was assigned a doctor at 9:15am. He quickly realized that Sophie had a much more serious problem than a stomach bug’.

Sophie claimed that the doctor, who introduced himself as Dr Billy, went above and beyond for her. He gave her “110%” from beginning to end. She added that she is sincerely grateful he was there.

The 19-year-old said that: “He took me to one of the private rooms where he and another doctor did an ultrasound – but they said that they couldn’t confirm appendicitis just purely based off an ultrasound.

“Billy stated that he would convince the other members of my Medical team to give me a CT scan.

“He came back to me shortly after and told me that he’d managed to bump me up the list and I could go in for an urgent CT scan immediately.

“At this point, the pain was unbearable. I couldn’t breathe. I was crying in agony and I couldn’t even stand up for the CT scan.”

The CT scan found Sophie’s appendix had burst and she said bacteria was ‘leaking into her stomach’.

A cannula was put into her hand and Sophie said Billy advised a nurse to give her morphine for the pain.

Sophie said Dr Billy even stayed for an hour beyond his shift to ensure Sophie was seen to with optimal care.

Sophie, who works as a care support worker, had to stay at Whiston for just over a week following her surgery where she said her experience was ‘great’.

She said: “The care provided by the nurses at Ward 4A was exceptional.

“I’m just so thankful to the surgeons, ward nurses, and Billy.”

Sophie thanked Dr Billy on a Facebook community page. She explained the night’s events to Dr Billy in hopes that he would be given the recognition he deserved.

In the post, the support worker wrote: “I can’t begin to say how much it meant.

“It’s a long shot him seeing this but if you know him give him a hug from me. Absolute star.”

The Facebook post has been liked by over 800 people and people across St Helens have applauded the work of Dr Billy with some labelling him an ‘angels’.

One person commented on the post with: “Sometimes these people go above and beyond, this is why they are angels and should be rewarded and paid as such, glad you got what you needed and hope you feel better soon x”

Another wrote: “That’s amazing.

“Good to know even in the toughest situations our healthcare professionals are going over & above to help us!

“Thanks Billie & all medical staff who have battled through this terrible & demanding time.”

A Trust spokesperson said: “As with all other hospitals across the country, Whiston Hospital’s A&E department continues to experience a significant increase in demand and this has, at times, led to unavoidable delays.

“Patient safety remains the priority for all our staff who are responding to this increased pressure with exceptional professionalism whilst continuing to provide the highest standards of care.”