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My life was ruined by 'zombie' doctor; TEENAGER'S YEARS OF HELL AT THE HANDS OF DISGRACED EPILEPSY SPECIALIST.

Byline: EMMA SNODGRASS

A MUM today claimed her teenage daughter was left stick thin and wheelchair-bound by two years of treatment by suspended epilepsy doctor Andrew Holton.

Nikki Coyle, who is now 19, was left so weak by the cocktail of anti- convulsant drugs and steroids prescribed by the disgraced doctor between 1998 and 2000, she could barely summon the energy to lift her head or feed herself.

Her mother Candy Coyle, aged 45, of Sewall Highway, Wyken, Coventry, said today that her daughter was referred to the paediatric neurologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary for treatment because there was no such treatment available in Coventry.

She said: "We trusted him. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about and we went away hopeful."

At the first meeting Dr Holton told the family Nikki should never be on more than two anti-convulsant drugs at a time. Two years later, she was on four anti-convulsants plus steroids, and was taking 32 tablets a day.

Nikki, who is studying art and photography at Hereward College, Tile Hill, said: "It got so bad that I was asking my mum and dad to kill me. I don't trust doctors any more."

Her mum added: "We grew concerned at how Nikki was reacting and told Dr Holton.

"From then on, we couldn't talk to him or get an appointment to see him."

A year later Nikki was so ill the family called their GP and after a visit to Birmingham Children's Hospital, she was taken off the drugs.

Last year Nikki was diagnosed with Hippocampal sclerosis by a Coventry specialist, a condition which could have been caused by their daughter's treatment.

Her mum and dad Derek, aged 43, believe the regime could have had long- term effects for Nikki, and they are seeking legal advice.

Mrs Coyle added: "I don't understand how this doctor was able to get away with this for so long."

Last night the Evening Telegraph revealed that Dr Holton saw youngsters at the clinics at Walsgrave for two years to save families having to go to Leicester.

After a flood of complaints Dr Holton was suspended.

Investigations revealed he held no formal qualifications in paediatric neurology and he had misdiagnosed 618 children.

CAPTION(S):

'WE TRUSTED HIM': Nikki Coyle (right), with her parents Candy and Derek. Nikki still suffers fits, but these have been stabilised by new treatment; SHOCK: How we reported the story yesterday
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 22, 2003
Words:405
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