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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Tragedy of dying Gravesend man Jeff Hussey sent away from Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford with 'muscular injury' two days before death

20 March 2014
by Chris Price

Seven children lost their grandfather when Jeff Hussey died two days after being told by medics his illness was a "muscular injury".

But in fact, the popular foster father was heading for renal failure and multiple heart attacks - leaving his family bereft and his widow asking questions about how his condition could have been missed.

The 52-year-old, of Livingstone Road, Gravesend, died at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford last Thursday – two days after being turned away.

Jeff Hussey with his wife Trudy. Picture Ian Whitington Photography

Jeff Hussey with his wife Trudy. Picture: Ian Whitington Photography

His wife Trudy said: "I don't think an NHS doctor should be diagnosing things over the phone with a questionnaire. He should have gone to hospital earlier, and if a doctor had come out that night, Jeff might be here now."

She believes doctors could have diagnosed kidney failure in her husband sooner and prevented his death.

Foster parent Mr Hussey died just hours after doctors at Darent Valley Hospital discovered he had renal failure, which caused him to suffer three heart attacks.

Two days earlier, he was turned away from the same hospital after going in with chest pains and being told he had a muscular injury.

"An NHS doctor should have come out and seen him that night. Maybe he would still be here if he did. Maybe things would be different..." - grieving widow Trudy Hussey

His condition deteriorated the following day, when he suffered diarrhoea and sickness, and complained that his hands and feet felt numb.

But when Mrs Hussey spoke to staff at the NHS 111 service and then a doctor in the early hours of Thursday morning, she was told his symptoms were normal and that he needed fluids.

With his condition worsening when they awoke that day, Mr Hussey was taken to Darent Valley Hospital by paramedics, where he died hours later.

Mrs Hussey, 49, said: "When the doctor phoned, I asked him if it was normal for Jeff to be cold and have numb hands. He said it was normal.

"When we got to hospital the next morning, the doctor said he should have come in a lot earlier.

"An NHS doctor should have come out and seen him that night. Maybe he would still be here if he did. Maybe things would be different."

She added: "They took a blood test on Tuesday and sent us home not knowing what the results were.

"I want to know if there was anything in his blood test that could have shown up something wrong with his kidneys. We should have known before Thursday."

Grandfather Jeff Hussey, pictured with wife Trudy, died at Darent Valley Hospital

Grandfather Jeff Hussey, pictured with wife Trudy, died at Darent Valley Hospital

Described as "the life and soul", Mr Hussey loved nothing better than to head off to his caravan in Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey with his family.

The former Southfields School pupil, which used to be in Kings Farm, worked as an agent for UK Power Network, based in Ashford, and was a foster parent for 12 years with his wife.

The father of three was a devout Manchester United fan and had tickets to see his beloved team at Old Trafford in April. He had followed them since the age of nine and held gold membership.

A sports fan through and through, he used to take his son Darren to play football for Real Gima every Saturday and Sunday until he was 15.

Mrs Hussey said: "He had so many friends. He was a peace maker. He didn't like arguments.

"He loved family and idolised his grandchildren, especially the eldest Harrison, who lived with us for three years. Jeff was a father figure to him.

"He was a good provider. He was never out of work.

"It's just surreal at the moment. He was only 52. We had a holiday booked in May to Majorca. We were taking the whole family. There were 18 of us going."

Jeff Hussey (second from left) pictured with (from left) brother-in-law Danny Tully, brother-in-law Andrew Jackson, sons Lewis Hussey and Darren Hussey, Adam Bailey and (laying across) Phil Letley, daughter Gemma's partner

Jeff Hussey (second from left) pictured with (from left) brother-in-law Danny Tully, brother-in-law Andrew Jackson, sons Lewis Hussey and Darren Hussey, Adam Bailey and (laying across) Phil Letley, daughter Gemma's partner

His daughter Gemma Hussey, 27, said: "People can't believe it because he was so nice.

"At the caravan site, everyone called him Lord Hussey because we had a balcony on the caravan and every morning he would be on it, checking out what's going on.

"He made a personal bar outside the van where he had a cool box for all his beers.

"He was always smiling. He touched the hearts of everyone. All that mattered to him was family."

Mr Hussey leaves Trudy, 49, children Lewis, 31, Darren, 28, and Gemma 27, and grandchildren Harrison, seven, Dolcie, five, Sophia, four, Isla, two, Lola, one, eight-month-old Savanah and four-month-old Poppy.

He is also survived by his parents Daphne and Ted and sisters Natalie and Donna.

Darent Valley Hospital offered sincere condolences after Jeff Hussey's death

Darent Valley Hospital offered "sincere condolences" after Jeff Hussey's death

A Darent Valley Hospital spokesman said: "We offer our sincere condolences to Mrs Hussey on the sad loss of her husband.

"The sudden loss of a partner is extremely difficult to cope with. If she would like to contact us, we may be able to help by answering any questions that Mrs Hussey may have."

NHS 111 has been unable to comment.


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