'The feeling in my left leg hasn't come back following botched surgery'

David Vile lost his job and lives in constant pain after being operated on by the disgraced neurosurgeon Sam Eljamel.

David Vile was operated on twice by the disgraced neurosurgeon Sam Eljamel.

The second spinal surgery he received in 2009 left him with no feeling in his left leg and foot.

It also cost him his job.

The 53-year-old from Kirriemuir in Angus now takes copious amounts of medication but is still in constant pain.

“When I woke up I could not feel anything from my waist down, Mr Vile told STV News. “Gradually over a 24-hour period, feeling came back on my right leg but not my left; to which Eljamel told me in a kind of throwaway comment ‘if it’s not back in six months, it’s permanent’.

“And it has never come back. Yeah, it was terrible, it was awful.

“I hold him (Eljamel) responsible, I hold the (health) board responsible. I think there are other medical staff, because he had registrars, nurses, people in the surgery. I think there is a lot of responsibility that’s not being dealt with or acknowledged.”

Mr Vile was among dozens of Eljamel’s former patients who gathered outside the Police Scotland building in Dundee on Wednesday.

It aimed to draw attention to “severe delays” in the police investigation into complaints submitted regarding Eljamel and his employer NHS Tayside.

Eljamel worked for the health board from 1995 until he was suspended in 2013, with campaigners claiming more than 196 patients were harmed by him.

A public inquiry into the rogue surgeon was announced by then first minister Humza Yousaf in September last year, and victims have also previously filed evidence to police.

STV News

Mr Vile told STV News about the major repercussions he has faced following the surgery performed on him by Eljamel.

“I’m not employable is probably the best way of putting it,” he said. “It’s half day on, three days off. If I do something in the garden I have to do it because I know I’m going to pay for it.

“I get told ‘pace yourself, pace yourself’ but that doesn’t work for me. I’ve got to get it done; otherwise I miss out three days of my life.

“It has been bad. My wife and I adopted and it almost cost us our adoption, because they were going ‘your back, your back, you can’t look after children. To which, my GP said: ‘He has a terrible back but that doesn’t stop him from being a good parent’.

“We did adopt so that was fine but it’s just this major factor that has been hanging over me since 2009 and no answers. Eljamel has gone. Yes, we’re getting a public inquiry but when?

“The scope of that inquiry will be who knows?”

Police Scotland say the Eljamel probe is an extremely complex investigation that involves specialist officers from the Major Investigation Team.

After years of campaigning, patients were granted a public inquiry. Its scope and when it will start is still to be decided but patients hope it will hold the health board and Eljamel to account.

Mr Vile said: “I would like to see him brought back here, made to face justice, made to face us, the patients and say ‘why, why did you do that?'”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code