Dad Died Shortly After Surgery To Remove Clot And Part Of His Skull
The devastated widow of a man who died following two strokes within six months has spoken for the first time on her loss as she backs a major awareness campaign.
Tony Gubb, a dad-of-one, attended the accident and emergency department at Morriston Hospital in Swansea in February this year.
He had been suffering from vision problems and seizures. He was diagnosed with a bleed on the brain and confirmed to have suffered a stroke. He was also found to have a blockage in his carotid artery.
In August, he suffered a second stroke. He was taken to another hospital where he was found to have two large clots on his brain.
Tony, of Port Talbot, underwent surgery to remove the clots. Further surgery was attempted to remove part of his skull. However, Anthony died shortly afterwards aged 47.
Following her husband’s death, Clair, 42, instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his care under the Swansea Bay University Health Board, which runs Morriston Hospital.
Clair is now joining with her legal team in supporting World Stroke Day on 29 October. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the signs of the condition and the importance of early medical treatment.
Expert Opinion“The past few months have been incredibly tough for Clair as she tries to come to terms with losing her husband so suddenly.
Prior to Tony’s death, they were a happy family and now Clair is left raising their daughter alone.
We’re now investigating Tony’s care and will continue to support Clair and her family through this difficult time.
We join her in marking World Stroke Day and raising awareness of the signs of the condition and how early detection and treatment are key.”
Elise Burvill - Associate Solicitor
Tony began complaining of multicolour flashing lights in his vision earlier this year. He went to see his GP on 25 February, who referred him to an optician the same day.
While he was in the optician, Tony suffered a seizure, describing it to Clair as his “arm shaking uncontrollably.”
Three hours later, he suffered another two seizures while at home, each lasting around five minutes.
As Clair checked Tony in at the accident and emergency department, he had another seizure. He was rushed through to the resuscitation department. The seizure lasted around 15 minutes, he couldn’t speak and his right arm was shaking. His blood pressure was also high.
Tony was seen by a neurologist. By this point, he couldn’t write. He was sent for a CT scan, which confirmed a bleed on the brain and a stroke. He was told he would need surgery, which he was awaiting.
His second stroke occurred some months later on 9 August while he was driving to work. Thankfully no one was injured whilst he sounded his horn and his car veered off the road. He was taken to hospital by emergency ambulance.
Clair consented for surgery to attempt to remove the clot. During the procedure, however, Tony suffered a brain bleed.
He made it through the surgery, but was unable to communicate and couldn’t stop vomiting. Clair was told by the surgical team that, due to the extent of the damage caused by Tony’s second stroke, he would be left permanently disabled or would likely die within a few hours unless a craniotomy – removal of part of his skull – was attempted.
Clair consented to the craniotomy, but Tony died shortly afterwards on 11 August.
Prior to his death, Tony and Clair had been married for seven years. The couple were parents to their 15 year old daughter Mollie.
Tony enjoyed fishing, camping and spending time with his family.
Clair said: “It’s only been a couple of months since I lost Tony and everything is still so raw for us all.
“Tony was such a loving husband. Mollie was his world and he loved nothing better than spending time as a family.
“Without him, every day is such a struggle and I still find it difficult to accept he’s no longer here. We’re absolutely devastated.
“But I know I have to push forward as best I can for Mollie. I now have to be both parents for her, and it breaks my heart that she will grow up without him and that he will never get to see her as she goes through life and gets married.
“There is nothing I would love more than to turn back the clock and for Tony to still be with us, but I know that’s not possible.
“All I can hope for now is that by sharing our story, I can maybe save someone else’s life by raising awareness of how dangerous a stroke can be. I wouldn’t want another family going through what we are.”
World Stroke Day is on 29 October.