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Woman was left like a ‘bag of bones’ after horrific hospital treatment

Harrowing pictures of a woman who could not eat for 11 days and was left looking like a ‘bag of bones’ after blundering medics fitted her with the wrong-sized feeding tube

  • Joanne Kitching has a stomach problem that means she cannot keep food down
  • Mrs Kitching, who also has multiple sclerosis, therefore has to be fed via a tube
  • While at the Royal Hull, she claims she was fitted with the wrong sized tube
  • Was ‘left starving’ for 11 days and lost a stone from her already frail frame 
  • At just 6st 10lbs, she has been told she will die unless she gains weight

Harrowing pictures show a woman who was left looking like ‘a bag of bones’ after being enduring horrific treatment at hospital.

Joanne Kitching suffers from a stomach problem that prevents her from absorbing nutrients from her food or being able to keep anything down.

The 53-year-old, from Hessle, Yorkshire, who also has multiple sclerosis, therefore has to be fed via a tube.

But she claims she was ‘left starving’ for 11 days while being treated at the Hull Royal Infirmary in September.

Mrs Kitching alleges she lost a stone (6.3kg) from her already frail frame after she was fitted with a wrong sized feeding tube.

Now home, Mrs Kitching, who weighs just 6st 10lbs (42.6kg), has been told she needs to be readmitted to prevent her losing a life-threatening amount of weight. 

Joanne Kitching claims her weight plummeted until she looked like ‘a bag of bones’ after being treated at Hull Royal Infirmary. Pictured at home after being discharged, Mrs Kitching requires feeding via a tube due to a gastro condition but she claims the wrong size tube was fitted 

Weighing just 6st 10lbs (42.6kg), she lost a stone while at Hull Royal and claims she was ‘left starving’ for 11 days. Mrs Kitching now claims she looks ‘like a skeleton’ and is ‘withering away’. The ordeal has also affected her mental health, with her developing anxiety and always crying

Mrs Kitching, who says she cannot stop crying and is ‘withering away’, has been waiting for a bed for more than three weeks.

A spokeswoman for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said her complaint is being investigated and the trust is working on having Mrs Kitching readmitted as soon as possible.

Since Mrs Kitching first reported her stomach complaint in July last year, she claims her weight has plummeted from a healthy 9st 9lbs (61.2kg).

‘I’m a bag of bones and I look like a skeleton – I’ve just completely withered away and there is nothing of me left,’ she said.

The ordeal has also impacted Mrs Kitching’s mental health. 

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‘I’m not meant to have anxiety and stress but I keep getting more and more worked up,’ she said. 

‘I’m crying all the time, can’t keep any food down and I’m frightened of what will happen to me.

‘I keep thinking why? What have I done wrong? But letting me starve and suffer is absolutely unforgivable.’

Mrs Kitching, who went on a week-long holiday canoeing and zip wiring just last year, is now barely able to move.

‘I do nothing – I’m absolutely washed out, drained, completely down with it all and I’m frightened of what is happening to my body,’ she said.

‘My body is getting weaker and weaker every day and ultimately I will starve if I don’t get help soon, but I won’t let that happen.’

Mrs Kitching has been told she needs to be readmitted to hospital to prevent her dangerous weight loss from killing her. Scared of receiving the same poor care, she has asked to be placed on a different ward but has already been waiting three weeks for a bed to become free 

Mrs Kitching was admitted to hospital in September last year with chronic stomach pain.

While in hospital, she lost a dangerous amount of weight due to the wrong sized feeding tube being fitted. 

‘The tube the hospital was too thick and was choking me – everything was lodging in the tube so I ended up losing weight as I couldn’t eat with it,’ Mrs Kitching said.

‘It was really hurting me as it was the wrong size and I just couldn’t bear it. 

‘I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t do anything and felt completely neglected. I had a battle on to get the tube removed.’

She added: ‘I had to demand an X-ray to show how big it was before they would change it and then the process of taking it out it was horrendous.

‘I was laid on a slab with no nurses around to comfort me when it was happening and the tube was just pulled out – the pain was excruciating and it was so undignified.’

Pictured at a healthier 9st 9lbs (61.2kg), Mrs Kitching has always relied on a wheelchair to get about due to her also suffering from multiple sclerosis. Last year, Mrs Kitching went on a week-long holiday canoeing and zip wiring. She is now barely able to move and ‘does nothing’

Mrs Kitching claims she has previously had issues at Hull Royal Infirmary and feels she has not had enough support from them since her stomach problems began last summer.

During an admission between November 2 and December 5 last year, she claims she was left ‘nagging and begging for food’.

She even alleges suffering bruising to her hand because staff did not know how to cater for her needs.

Scared the same thing will happen again, Mrs Kitching is refusing to go back to the same ward and is waiting for a bed elsewhere after being told she needs to be readmitted to help her gain weight.  

‘I’m now still waiting to get in to hospital and I’m just withering away,’ she said.

A spokeswoman for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘We are sorry Mrs Kitching is unhappy with her most recent experience at Hull Royal Infirmary.

‘Our patient experience service has been in regular contact with Mrs Kitching to address the concerns she has raised with us. 

‘Mrs Kitching has been provided with a direct line to a trust service manager who she can contact at any time.

‘With regards to her most recent complaint, it has been fully investigated and Mrs Kitching has been given a full briefing in writing.

‘We are working with Mrs Kitching to ensure she is admitted as soon as possible and the ward sister is keeping her informed on a regular basis.’


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