EXCLUSIVE: '˜I'm banned from getting health care I desperately need'
A man who tried to take his own life just by jumping in front of a train says he has been left to fend for himself after being banned from receiving medical care by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.
Kyle Timms, aged 30, was hit by a train at Woolley Wood Bottom last March, and was cared for at Northern General Hospital for a broken spine.
However, after the spinal injuries unit discharged him he was then hit with a 12-month ‘exclusion order’ from all Sheffield Teaching Hospitals sites.
Hospital bosses say it is incredibly rare to exclude any individual and only take action such in exceptional circumstances, for example following multiple occasions of unacceptable behaviour.
But Kyle says the ban means not only is he forbidden from visiting the hospitals as a patient, he can’t even see other people who are being treated at them.
It has also in practice meant that outreach services operated by the hospital in the community can’t treat him, forcing him to look elsewhere for care.
“A lot of people say that they have never seen a case like it,” said Kyle.
“Even if I had a friend who was dying or poorly I wouldn’t be able to visit them.
“I have seen no care workers, no district nurses and I haven’t even been given a proper wheelchair to use - all the things that you should have if you have a spinal cord injury.
“Wheelchair services won’t touch me because of my ban. They say I can’t go to them but why can’t they come to me?
“And it has taken over a year for me to get any help from mental health services.”
Kyle, who lives in Manor Top, says he now wants to publicise his case so other people don’t have to go through what he has.
“I am fighting so it doesn’t happen to other people,” he said.
As to why he was excluded in the first place, he says he was ‘ill all over’ with his mental health and admits his language was particularly bad.
Nevertheless, he thinks his exclusion is ‘crazy’ and has vowed to fight for his right to receive medical care.
He says disability rights groups in Sheffield are also helping his cause but he now wants his story to become more widely known.
Kyle attempted to take his own life on March 3, 2017 when he stood in front of a train at Woolley Wood Bottom in Sheffield.
He was rushed into hospital as an unidentified ‘man vs train’ case and spent the next 17 days in intensive care.
The train’s impact broke one of his vertebrae, meaning surgeons had to attach two metal rods to his spine with eight bolts to allow it to heal.
The doctors in the hospital initially told him he would never walk again - but in July he started to get some movement in his toes.
“For three weeks and six days my toes were not moving,” he says.
“Then I started getting some movement and immediately broke down.
“I will make a full recovery but I have still got a long way to go.
“I am blessed to be alive and I am thankful to god for that. I am thankful for my life.”
Despite his amazing recovery, Kyle says his progress has still been hampered by not having access to an NHS physiotherapist.
Instead, he has relied on the help of a man called Howard Rainey who he describes as ‘a godsend’.
Howard has invented a running machine that Kyle can use while lying down which is helping him walk again.
“He knows everything about your body and I am so, so thankful for him,” says Kyle.
As well as Howard, Kyle says he is indebted to his fellow worshipers at Crowded House Church on Ecclesall Road for sustaining him through his darkest days.
Before the terrible events of last March, Kyle used to be a welder but says his passion ‘is in people now’.
He says he would now like to go into counselling to help other people who have the misfortune of suffering with mental health problems.
In the last few days, Kyle received a letter from the hospital apologising for any distress they have caused him and promising to begin an investigation.
Kirsten Major, deputy chief executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is incredibly rare for us to exclude any individual from coming into our hospitals because we do everything possible to encourage each person to behave in a way which is acceptable and safe for other patients and staff.
“We only take action such as this in exceptional circumstances, for example following multiple occasions of unacceptable verbal and/or physical behaviour. We would also issue a number of informal warnings and ultimately a formal warning in advance of any exclusion.
“The clinical implications for any patient would be carefully considered and we would go to great lengths to ensure alternative appropriate arrangements are in place where necessary. Whenever we do take the very reluctant step to exclude a patient, we would of course continue to offer emergency care.
“Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to comment further on the specifics of Mr Timms’ care without his consent.”
Kyle was put into foster care at the age of just six months, but was later returned to his biological mum and her new partner.
He would always run away in an attempt to be reunited with his foster family, who he loved, but social services would always take him back.
“I then suffered abuse for the next few years,” he says.
“They were on drugs and she was doing prostitution.
“I was left without food, clothes, you name it. I tried to hang myself at nine years old and I thank God it never worked.”
Kyle’s mum had two more children who Kyle says abused him just like she did.
At 12, he ran away from home to escape the brutality.
“I’ve always felt lost, broken, abandoned and like I don’t belong in this world,” he says.
“I’ve tried to take my life many times but I thank God I’m alive.”
When he stood in front of the train last March, he says he was ‘mentally all over the place’.
His fiancé at the time pleaded with the hospital to treat him for his mental health and not just his physical health, but they wouldn’t.
“When I was on the spinal injury ward I became out of control,” he said.
“The police and security were called out because of me on many occasions.”
He now says his 12 month exclusion order with no right of appeal amounts to ‘medical negligence’.
“Yes, I’ve ill treated people and I don’t try to justify that - I’ve said sorry,” he admits.
“But to be shut out of a system that’s meant to help and have a duty of care is not ok.
“I’m fighting this case with the hospital because I don’t want others to have to go through what I have.”