‘He may as well have stayed at home’ – Widow speaks out as coroner confirms hospital staff three times failed to diagnose illness that led to Sandy grandfather’s death

Terry Wadsworth from Sandy, who died aged 55 in November 2014 following failures at Bedford Hospital

Terry Wadsworth from Sandy, who died aged 55 in November 2014 following failures at Bedford Hospital. - Credit: Archant

Hospital staff three times failed to diagnose the illness that led to a Sandy grandfather’s death in 2014, a coroner has ruled – and his widow says he may have well have just stayed at home.

Terry Wadsworth from Sandy, who died aged 55 in November 2014 following failures at Bedford Hospital

Terry Wadsworth from Sandy, who died aged 55 in November 2014 following failures at Bedford Hospital. - Credit: Archant

Terry Wadsworth had two CT scans and an MRI scan at Bedford Hospital that all revealed chronic mesenteric ischemia (CMI), a rare condition affecting blood supply to the stomach, liver, colon and lower intestine.

But CMI was not identified and the 55-year-old died in hospital on November 20, 2014 – with the consultant radiologist Dr Chike Onyekwuluje later admitting to the coroner that concerns should have been raised.

Mary Wadsworth, now 54, was at the inquest where assistant coroner Ian Pears ruled the death to be unnatural and caused by a failed CMI diagnosis..

Mary said afterwards: “The hospital missed obvious signs of a rare but dangerous illness time and time again, and they finally admitted that.


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“Both my son and I knew from the very beginning that something wasn’t right in how my husband had been treated. The hospital discharged a sick man – claiming to have carried out all the necessary tests. Clearly they had not.

“Terry was a 12-stone fit and active man when he fell ill. By the time he died, he was nothing but skin and bones.

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“I begged him to go into hospital. ‘You will be in safe hands,’ I said. It turns out he may as well have stayed at home and spent his final days among his loved ones.”

Mary doesn’t drive, and so rarely leaves home now.

“Life is hard now,” she said – “but what makes it worse is that things could have been different.

“If the professionals had done their job properly, Terry would still be here. Anyone can make a mistake but they made so many, on so many different occasions.”

Mr Pears heard testimony regarding Terry’s chances of survival had CMI been identified earlier, and concluded that Terry probably would not have died.

He said he was unconvinced that lessons were being learned, with Bedford doctors ‘at best paying lip service’.

Solicitor David Thomas of Simpson Millar LLP represented the family during the inquest.

He said: “This is a truly sad case. These errors literally had fatal consequences for Terry Wadsworth. The coroner recorded that he would probably have survived had a timely diagnosis been made.

“Tragically, the hospital’s failings in care have denied Terry several more years of life and denied his family of a caring and devoted husband, father and grandfather.”

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