A Queensland woman left blind and deaf by a rare disease has failed in a bid to sue her doctor.
Nancy Leanne Mules from Cairns in far north Queensland tried to sue her GP for almost $8 million in damages after the deadly fungal infection cryptococcal meningitis left her unable to see or hear.
In 2008 the then 43-year-old hotel manager complained to GP Kaylene Ferguson of headaches, neck pain, dizziness and facial flushing.
Ms Mules was prescribed pain medication and physiotherapy but her health declined dramatically and within a week she was admitted to hospital for lifesaving treatment.
She was diagnosed with the extremely rare disease cryptococcal meningitis which attacks the central nervous system and can be fatal if untreated.
Ms Mules claimed Dr Ferguson breached her duty by failing to refer her to a specialist until it was too late.
A trial in the Supreme Court in Cairns last year heard the patient would likely have been spared irreversible neurological damage if she had been diagnosed earlier.
However Justice James Henry found Ms Mules’ early symptoms should not have caused the doctor, acting with reasonable care and skill, to refer her patient to a specialist.
“The tragic outcome which befell the plaintiff as a result of this insidious disease was not the result of any breach on the part of the defendant,” he said in a recently published decision, which was delivered on Tuesday.
Ms Mules also tried to sue Queensland Health alleging negligence by Cairns Base Hospital, whose staff also failed to diagnose her.
The claim was later dropped.