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Dad lived with broken neck for three months

By Luke May

A father who broke his neck holidaying in Thailand and spent three months unaware of his injury is taking legal action against Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

Anton Frolov, 36, briefly lost all feeling in his arms and legs after a powerful wave sent him crashing head first into the seabed off the island of Phuket in April 2015.

The father-of-two says he remembers lying motionless, face down in the ocean, before he was rescued.

Anton Frolov together with wife Ekaterina two young boys, Misha, five and Daniiel, one. Picture: Ben Lister.
Anton Frolov together with wife Ekaterina two young boys, Misha, five and Daniiel, one. Picture: Ben Lister.

He was X-rayed at a local hospital, but with no signs of breakage he returned home, and would spend the next three months unaware of his injury.

Once he was home, Mr Frolov headed to Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital, where an ambulance rushed him to the A&E in Pembury.

He claims doctors did not take a further x-ray and sent him home with painkillers.

An X-ray revealed the damage to the 36-year-old's neck.
An X-ray revealed the damage to the 36-year-old's neck.

Mr Frolov said: "I was expecting them to carry out more tests and X-rays but they seemed very unconcerned and dismissive. They just said it would be whiplash and gave me painkillers.

He claims his GP then referred him to a physiotherapist and he even used weights at the gym whilst injured.

Two-and-a-half months later and with the pain still persisting, the Russian migrant went to an osteopath, who recommended he have an X-ray.

Anton Frolov in hospital.
Anton Frolov in hospital.

The results revealed the severity of Mr Frolov's fracture, which was now healing in the wrong position, and he was taken to St George's Hospital in London.

He said: "[Doctors} told me I’d been extremely fortunate and that it was something of a miracle to be walking around, because of the fracture and the position of the broken bone, I could have been paralysed at any moment."

Mr Frolov, who has put in a damages case against Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, added: "I could have died twice, so in that sense, I guess I have been lucky."

The firm carrying out his damages claim, Hudgell Solicitors say Tunbridge Wells Hospital breached its duty of care in not carrying out its own x-ray, resulting in a delayed diagnosis leaving Mr Frolov needing a neurosurgical operation to reposition and fix the bone with bolts.

A Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust spokesperson said: “We investigated Mr Frolov’s complaint in 2015 and sent him an explanation of what happened and what we have learned from this case.”

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