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Somerset Woman Dies Following Perforated Ulcer

Devastated Widower Calls For Full Investigation


A Somerset widower has called for an urgent investigation into his wife’s death, after she suffered a perforated ulcer.

Sixty year old Faye McLaughlin from Banwell, was rushed by ambulance to Weston General Hospital on 23rd May 2010, complaining of chronic back pain.

However, her husband Keith claims that despite her obvious pain and distress, for seven days no investigations were undertaken and the hospital instead prescribed painkillers and a course of physiotherapy.

By the time the ulcer was diagnosed on 30th May, it had ruptured and her vital organs had started to shut down. Three emergency operations were carried out and Mrs McLaughlin remained in intensive care for more than six weeks. Sadly she died on 21st July 2010.

Gillian Tayler, a medical law expert with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who is representing the family, said: “Mr McLaughlin is understandably distraught by his wife’s death and has formally requested an explanation from the hospital regarding the level of care she received prior to her death. There are a number of unanswered questions, including why it apparently took the hospital seven days from when Mrs McLaughlin was brought in by emergency ambulance, to when she was diagnosed and treatment commenced. 

“We are awaiting a date for an inquest hearing but, in the interim, the family has asked Weston Area Health NHS Trust to conduct a full investigation into Mrs McLaughlin’s care.”

Keith McLaughlin said: “Faye was petrified of hospitals and when she first became ill I remember thinking that I wished I could change places with her and take the pain away. I visited her every day and she looked so scared but I kept reassuring her she would be ok.

“I watched helplessly as day after day she slowly deteriorated. She became doubly incontinent, was barely eating and was being sick. The day they finally diagnosed the ulcer I remember her stomach was so swollen she looked six months pregnant and she was bringing up black mucus.

“When the surgeon told me she had a ruptured ulcer and that they needed to operate urgently to try to save her life I was in shock, but even then I believed she’d pull through.

“Faye’s death has left me heartbroken. We had been together for 42 years and we were totally devoted to each other. I will never get over losing her and don’t know how I will go on without her because she was my whole world. I cannot rest until I get answers about the circumstance of her death.”