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Gran blew £10,000 after doctors told her she was dying



  • Jackie Dibb, 62, is facing a penniless future after blowing £10,000 in life savings
  • Grandmother was wrongly diagnosed with dementia and given five years to live
  • But medics discovered she was actually suffering from anxiety and depression 

By Katie French For Mailonline

Published: 21:01 EST, 21 February 2018 | Updated: 00:22 EST, 22 February 2018

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Pictured: Robert and Jackie Dibb at their home in Hull, back in 2016 
Pictured: Robert and Jackie Dibb at their home in Hull, back in 2016 

Pictured: Robert and Jackie Dibb at their home in Hull, back in 2016 

A grandmother told by doctors she would be dead in five years blew £10,000 of her savings only to later learn she was misdiagnosed.   

Jackie Dibb, 62, now faces a penniless future after 'frittering away' thousands of pounds on holidays and gifts to her family.

Mrs Dibb was given a 'death penalty' in November 2016 by doctors who told her she was suffering from an incurable dementia.

She was told to enjoy the remainder of her life after being diagnosed as suffering from frontal temporal dementia and she went on a spending spree.

But just a year later doctors reviewed her case and told her that she just suffering from severe anxiety.

However by this time she and husband Rob Dibb, 61, had already emptied their pensions of £10,000.

They spent £4,000 on a wet room for their home, £1,500 on a holiday and £700 for a double-door American fridge.

Jackie even tragically said goodbye to her 12-year-old granddaughter after telling her, 'I'll still be here, but I'll be like one of those zombies you see in films'.

Big spenders: Mrs Dibb blew £700 on an American style fridge-freezer and £1,500 on a luxury holiday 
Big spenders: Mrs Dibb blew £700 on an American style fridge-freezer and £1,500 on a luxury holiday 

Big spenders: Mrs Dibb blew £700 on an American style fridge-freezer and £1,500 on a luxury holiday 

However, just 345 days later another scan at Hull Royal Infirmary revealed Jackie never had dementia at all.

Mr Dibb, of Hull, East Yorkshire, said: 'We feel embarrassed to be honest, we said goodbye to family everything - we feel crushed.

'At the moment we are treading water with money - we're up to our noses anyway.

'We emptied our pensions and savings, we flew to Turkey on a big family holiday and bought things we didn't need.

'Jackie wanted a big American-style fridge - so I bought her that and we spent shed loads of money, adapting the home, going on trips - you name it.

'People advised me to just give her whatever she wanted while she could still enjoy it - but she never even had dementia.'

Jackie Dibb (pictured right with husband Rob, left), 62, faces a penniless future after 'frittering away' thousands of pounds on holidays and gifts to her family
Jackie Dibb (pictured right with husband Rob, left), 62, faces a penniless future after 'frittering away' thousands of pounds on holidays and gifts to her family

Jackie Dibb (pictured right with husband Rob, left), 62, faces a penniless future after 'frittering away' thousands of pounds on holidays and gifts to her family

Jackie had visited the doctors after her behaviour started to become erratic and doctors initially thought she had had a stroke.

But a CT scan made neurologists deal her the 'death sentence' dementia blow - which later was discovered to be 'severe anxiety and depression'.

A letter from the doctors at Hull Royal Infirmary shows that Jackie underwent the brain scan 'that showed mild frontal temporal involution.a'.

The letter, dated November 21, 2016 and signed by neurology Dr A. Bulture, reads: 'Mrs Dibb has got frontal temporal dementia.

'I have discussed the diagnosis with them today with her and her husband and I have answered questions.

'They seem to have taken the diagnosis quite well.'

Jackie then began to experience splitting headaches 'which made her curl up in a ball' after being put on the Alzheimer's drug Memantine.

Splashing out: The couple spent £4,000 converting their bathroom into a modern wet room 
Splashing out: The couple spent £4,000 converting their bathroom into a modern wet room 

Splashing out: The couple spent £4,000 converting their bathroom into a modern wet room 

But it wasn't until the result of a further PET scan a year later that it finally revealed she did not have a neurodegenerative disease at all.

He added: 'We were basically handed a death sentence - it was heartbreaking hearing that Jackie would no longer recognise her family.

'They said she had about five to seven years left - but after two years she would no longer recognise her family.

'I was speaking to a different neurologist and he said this is the biggest mistake he has ever heard about.

'They took a half-arsed report and decided to tell us she was going to die - they winged it and gave us the death penalty.

'How they got it so wrong I will never know - I still have questions.'

Mr Dibb made a complaint to the NHS trust Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals following the misdiagnosis and received a letter apologising for the added stress caused.

Mr Dibb made a complaint to the NHS trust Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals following the misdiagnosis and received a letter apologising for the added stress caused 
Mr Dibb made a complaint to the NHS trust Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals following the misdiagnosis and received a letter apologising for the added stress caused 

Mr Dibb made a complaint to the NHS trust Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals following the misdiagnosis and received a letter apologising for the added stress caused 

An internal investigation in January this year highlighted the error after stating the actual ailment was down to 'anxiety and depression'.

A letter sent to the couple read: 'Dr Ming has concluded that there appears to be an incorrect diagnosis made.

'He has outlined that one of the causes of memory and mood changes is severe anxiety and depression disorders, which gives rise to 'pseudo dementia'.'

Mr Dibb, who retired early to become a full-time carer for wife Jackie, has vowed not to sue the NHS 'because they've been too good to us over the years'.

He added: 'It is an actual horror story - in the apology letter there are 24 excuses but not a reason why this happened.

'People come up to me and say I'm mad for not suing the hospital - but the NHS have been good to my wife over the years.

'If I could do it individually in a private prosecution it would probably cost me £25,000 and last about four years because the solicitors would drag it out.

'If I sue the NHS then that might be another incubator not on a ward - and a kid who wouldn't have a fighting chance.'

The Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Hospital Trust have been contacted for comment.

 

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