Gold Coast mother shares anger over hospital’s X-ray blunder

A GOLD Coast mother says she will never go back to her local hospital after her son was turned away with a broken knee – not once, but twice.

Last week, Gold Coast Health revealed that 48,000 X-rays taken at Gold Coast public hospitals since 2013 had not been properly checked or diagnosed by specialist radiologists.

Stacey Mortimer-Conroy has joined a long list of disgruntled patients who have since gone public with their painful experiences.


She was forced to take her 10-year-old son Trae to the Gold Coast University Hospital in February this year after he’d injured his knee in the school playground and can not believe the treatment that they received.

“They x-rayed his knee and told us there was no problem,” Stacey said.

“They told him that he was born with two knee caps and that only one per cent of the population live with it.

“Their next step was sending him home. They told him to rest for one week and that he was fine to return to normal activity.”


Despite the obvious significant swelling, Trae was sent home from Gold Coast University Hospital after being told there was nothing wrong.

After two weeks of agonising pain and serious swelling, Stacey took her son back to the hospital only to be turned away again.

“We took Trae back two weeks later when his knee was worse and hot to touch and they still told us there nothing was wrong,” Stacey said.

After being sent away for a second time, Stacey was forced to seek costly private scans through her family GP and MRI scans through the Queensland Department of Imaging.

“After our private scans, it turned out his knee cap was actually broken in two and now has on going pain and swelling due to the delay in treatment,” Stacey said.

A few days later, Trae received an urgent appointment at the local fracture clinic.

Knee 1

Right image shows significant swelling to Trae’s leg, but he was still turned away from Gold Coast University Hospital.

“The specialist told us that it was definitely broken and that Trae needed plaster to ensure that no more joint separation occurred, as he already had significant swelling and ligament stretching,” Stacey said.

Since Gold Coast Health brought the issue into the spotlight last Monday, Health Minister Lawrence Springbrook has demanded that an independent investigation into the checking of almost 50,000 x-rays be launched immediately.

“And just to put the icing on the cake, when the hospital removed the plaster cast four weeks later, they did not do one – I repeat not one – x-ray or scan to be sure that it was healed correctly, we also had these scans done privately.

“I will never return there.”

Patients who have any concerns or questions have been asked to call 1800 224 447.