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Tests heighten family concerns after death of Jeff Hussey, of Livingstone Road, Gravesend

The family of a grandfather who died two days after being turned away from hospital have been left with more questions following his post mortem examination.

As exclusively revealed in the Messenger last week, foster parent Jeff Hussey, 52, of Livingstone Road, died at Darent Valley Hospital following renal failure and three heart attacks, having been told two days earlier at the same facility that he was likely suffering from a muscular injury.

The day after the initial visit, Mr Hussey suffered diarrhoea and sickness, complaining of numb hands and feet.

But his wife Trudy was told by NHS 111 staff and a doctor over the phone that his symptoms were normal when suffering from diarrhoea and sickness and that he needed fluids.

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

The next day, when his condition deteriorated, he was taken to hospital by paramedics, where he died.

But a post-mortem examination has revealed he died of pericarditis, a treatable inflammatory condition of the tissue around the heart, which he had suffered before, aged 17.

His family want to know if his death could have been prevented if a doctor had picked up on the condition when he first visited the hospital.

They also want to know if paramedics passed on the information to hospital staff after Mrs Hussey told them he had suffered from the condition in his teens.

His daughter Gemma Hussey, 27, said: “We just want answers. If it was diagnosed on Tuesday would it have made a difference?

“My dad didn’t have to die if there was treatment for pericarditis. It can be easily treated.

Darent Valley Hospital. Picture: Nick Johnson
Darent Valley Hospital. Picture: Nick Johnson

“We were shocked when we heard the post-mortem. It was my understanding that he was being treated for his kidneys.

“When they picked him up, my mum told the paramedics that he had pericarditis when he was 17. We don’t know if that was brought up. They told us his kidneys were not functioning. They gave him treatment for organ failure.

“The medication they were using was not bringing down his blood pressure. The did not know why they couldn’t get it back to normal.

“Did they treat him for what was wrong with him?”

The family is still awaiting the results of a blood test Mr Hussey took on his first visit to hospital, when he was told his injury was external, rather than internal.

“My dad didn’t have to die if there was treatment for pericarditis. It can be easily treated."

Miss Hussey added: “I feel angry because they could have given him the right treatment and he could have been saved.

“They have to make a diagnosis to treat someone and if they can’t make the right diagnosis how can they treat someone for a specific problem? They should have been treating the source.”

A spokesman for Darent Valley Hospital said: “We offer our sincere condolences.

"We have not heard from Mrs Hussey concerning her husband’s care and no complaint has been received.

"If she would like to contact us with her concerns we will do our utmost to answer any questions that she may have.”

NHS 111 have not commented.

Mr Hussey’s funeral takes place at St John’s Church, 192 Parrock Street, Gravesend, on Wednesday, April 9, at midday. Flowers to: Lewis Solomon Funeral Service, 19 Darnley Road, Gravesend. DA11 0RZ.

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