'Lucky to be alive' Wisbech county councillor recovering from burst appendix after doctors missed condition on two occasions

PUBLISHED: 15:15 03 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:15 03 March 2017

Cllr Paul Clapp who is now recovering in hospital after twice being misdiagnosed before a nurse realised he had a burst appendix. PHOTO: Steve Williams.

Cllr Paul Clapp who is now recovering in hospital after twice being misdiagnosed before a nurse realised he had a burst appendix. PHOTO: Steve Williams.

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Wisbech county councillor Paul Clapp says he's lucky to be alive after twice being misdiagnosed before a nurse practitioner realised being doubled up with pain was due to a burst appendix.

Cllr Clapp is now recovering in hospital at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, after an emergency operation on Tuesday night.

“Thank heavens for the QE,” said the UKIP councillor and member of Cambridgeshire County Council health committee.

His wife Susan said twice last week her husband had been to see a GP and on both occasions his condition was not detected.

“He had been in considerable pain and I kept him urging him to see a doctor,” she said. “The first time they gave him antibiotics – which he shouldn’t have anyway because of an existing condition. They thought it was a stomach bug.

“When he returned and saw a different doctor he was sent to NE Cambs Hospital for an X-ray but again nothing was picked up. The feeling was it was a urinary infection”

It was only when he returned on Tuesday to see a nurse practitioner that “the penny finally dropped” she said and he was advised to head immediately to the A&E department at King’s Lynn.

“I’m fuming that he was not given the right diagnosis,” his wife said.

Looking on the bright side, she said, doctors had told her that her husband’s weight – nearly 17 stone- had helped him.

“They told him his fat actually saved him and stopped him getting a massive blood infection into the rest of his body,” she said.

Cllr Clapp said he expected to be in hospital for some days but his UKIP colleagues were handling his council workload during his absence.

“And I’m already a stone lighter which may be a good thing,” he added.

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