An Eltham women went “berserk” and has entered into a legal battle after finding her mother at a Woolwich hospital with irreversible brain damage.

Jean Malcherczyk, 85, was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital with a fractured sternum and injury to the back of her head on New Year’s Eve, 2014.

Karen Malcherczyk, from Eltham, left her mother in the hospital for a few hours and came back around 7pm that evening to find what she felt was a completely different person.

She has now entered a legal battle with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust because she believes the injuries were caused by her mum falling out of her bed and that the trust breached its duty of care.

She said: “I went berserk as when I arrived she could not open her eyes and could barely talk.”

A subsequent CT scan was carried out which showed the full extent of her brain injuries.

Karen said: “It was just awful, I knew I had lost my mum then. Something inside told me that things were not going to be the same again.”

Jean was discharged from hospital back home on February 17 but Karen said it was not the same person.

“She had always been a very active woman, visiting friends, and she was on the committee of the Townswomen’s Guild. She always kept busy, if she’d watched something on TV, she’d then have to get up and do something - she couldn’t just sit and do nothing.”

“But afterwards, everything changed. She started calling out ‘Karen’ day and night, in this loud voice. You couldn’t talk to her. She didn’t even know she was doing it, and she’d wander around.

“She had no idea if it was day or night, and I had to sleep in the next room to her downstairs, which meant I hardly had any sleep. I knew she was never going to get better.”

Karen cared for her mother at home for a year, before she was accepted for funding at a local nursing home.

She was eventually deemed as “lacking mental capacity” and a Do Not Resuscitate order was issued, shortly before she was moved to a nursing home on December 23, 2015 – almost a year after her fall.

Karen said: “It was partly a relief when she went into the home and I don’t miss the mother I had in the end, because that was a stranger, that wasn’t my mother.”

A spokesperson from Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust said: “As there are ongoing court proceedings, it would be inappropriate for the Trust to make any further comment at this time.”