This case study tells the story of Mary’s healthcare in a public hospital setting after a diagnosis of cervical cancer. It is a story that explores (i) the reverence and deference shown by medical staff to senior staff, and the impact this had on experiences of care; (ii) how the medical model excludes the patient; and (iii) the outcomes for the patient. What started as a straightforward early-stage cancer diagnosis ended in three rounds of surgery: two re-hospitalisations for complications and an acute kidney failure, all of which took place within a period of six months from the initial biopsy. The doctors disregarded the patient’s concerns and wishes, resulting in enduring emotional and physical scars. Throughout this brief but traumatic journey, Mary reflects on her experiences and shares insights into what patient-absent care looks like in the hospital setting. The relevant hospital’s website contains a page dedicated to their service provision as an example of world-class design in patient-centred care. The reality for Mary was that at every step of the journey, there was an absence of patient-centred care implemented within a meaningful and integrated framework.