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Ashford man Richard Rowe's knee injury playing football at Stour Centre led to death at 27

By Sam Lennon

A chain of events led to a young Ashford man's death after a footballing injury, a coroner ruled.

Richard Rowe, 27, had torn a knee ligament that needed surgery and meant he was immobile for weeks with his leg in a cast.

This led to deep vein thrombosis and finally caused his death by a pulmonary embolism - a blockage in the artery that takes blood to the lungs.

The woman was rescued by firefighters after getting her finger stuck in a hole at the Stour Centre
The woman was rescued by firefighters after getting her finger stuck in a hole at the Stour Centre

Rachel Redman, Central and South East Kent coroner, gave a conclusion of accidental death and said: "There was an unbroken chain of events between the injury and death."

The inquest heard Mr Rowe, of Whitfield Road, had fallen and injured his right knee kicking a football at the town's Stour Centre last November.

This had been a casual kickabout rather than a full game.

He was taken to the William Harvey hospital on November 21 and discharged four days later after an operation described as "uneventful".

He and his wife Katie had to move from their flat because he could no longer cope with the stairs and they stayed at his parents' home in Beaver Lane.

On Tuesday, January 7 he sat down at the home and was gasping for air. He fell unconscious, but was revived by his father.

Mr Rowe's mother Mary had spoken over the phone to GP Dr James Crawley, of the Wye Surgery, and South East Coast Ambulance Service about his condition. Mr Rowe had said he did not want an ambulance.

He appeared better later that evening, but by the following evening he deteriorated again and struggled for breath until he died in the early hours of Thursday, January 9.

The hospital has apologised to Lena
The hospital has apologised to Lena

Dr Crawley said he was shocked at Mr Rowe's death. He had not been able to diagnose exactly what Mr Rowe had as the symptoms described to him presented themselves in an unusual way.

Dr Crispin Southgate, from the William Harvey, said that the operation was not difficult as it simply meant reattaching the ligament to the bone.

Mr Rowe had returned to the outpatients' clinic two to three weeks later to have the sutures - devices to hold tissue together - removed and the knee brace replaced with a cast.

Dr Southgate said the knee was healing so he was also shocked at the death.

Doctors said Mr Rowe had one risk factor, a high BMI (body mass index). He weighed 120kg (18st 13lb) with a height of 5ft 8in, although Dr Southgate said he was not unduly worried because he was still young and fit.

Mrs Redman said the medical services had done what they could.

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