A PUB landlord who claims his broken back went undetected fears he may never walk again.
Michael Rigby, 57, suffered a fall at his home in September and says he visited Wrexham Maelor Hospital on at least three occasions with severe back pain.
A scan on his most recent admission revealed Mr Rigby had a broken vertebrae which had become infected.
He is now seriously ill at The Walton Centre in Liverpool, where he is expected to remain for up to six months.
Mr Rigby and partner Julie Redmond, 49, co-owners of The Berwyn Arms, Glyndyfrdwy, near Llangollen, fear they will be forced to give up their business.
They now say they intend to launch legal proceedings against Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
Miss Redmond told the Leader: “This is the end of our world as we know it.
“If the injury had been found earlier then we would not be in this situation.
“Michael has been very low about all of this.”
Former BT engineer Mr Rigby thought he suffered a broken rib during the fall in his garden, but did not seek medical advice because he believed a broken rib could not be treated.
In October his crippling back pain led his partner to dial 999 and he spent a week in hospital on a course of antibiotics.
Soon after he says he developed foot drop, and spent a further two weeks at the Maelor while doctors tried to establish the cause of the problem and resolve the ongoing back pain.
Miss Redmond said: “I thought he was having a stroke because he couldn’t use his right leg properly.
“I had to call an ambulance again and that time he stayed in hospital for two weeks.”
An MRI scan later revealed he had a broken vertebrae and he was transferred to the spinal unit at The Walton Centre for specialist treatment.
Miss Redmond added: “By that point it had gone too far. “The doctors at the Walton have told us it’s unlikely he will ever walk again.
“When they told me I didn’t know what to say. They’re going to put him in a full body brace to give him the best shot at recovery, and he will have to stay there for between three and six months.”
The pair, who renovated the once-derelict Berwyn Arms before it reopened two years ago, fear for the future of their business.
Miss Redmond said: “We live in a first floor flat above the pub so there will definitely need to be alterations.
“We might have to give up the pub altogether if we feel we cannot cope.”
The pair, who are originally from Manchester, say they will file a formal complaint and have also spoken to a solicitor about legal action.
A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “Although we are unable to comment on individual cases, if we receive a complaint from Mr Rigby and his partner it will be thoroughly investigated to address their concerns.”