‘I thought hospital would look after one of their own’ Husband’s devastation at nurse’s needless death
AFORMER midwife died at the hospital she served faithfully for more than 30 years after blunders following abdominal surgery.
Lynda Simmonds’ family has now won a six-figure payout four years after her death at Heartlands Hospital.
The Heart of Trust admitted care.
Husband John is now calling on the Trust to ensure lessons are learned after Lynda died following incomplete bowel surgery.
Emergency surgery to save her was also delayed by four days and she died on March 28, 2013.
“We have been absolutely destroyed,” said Mr Simmonds, 53, from Stechford.
“Lynda was my best friend and my wife for more than 20 years.
“She worked there as a midwife for 32 years – you would have thought that they would look after one of their own.
“We had booked to go back to Jamaica for our anniversary because we’d been there for our honeymoon and we loved it there. Instead, I took her back there to scatter her ashes.”
The grandmother-of-two visited her GP on March 20, 2013, after suffering stomach pains and constipation. The 61-yearold was prescribed laxatives but after two days was admitted to Heartlands Hospital.
Scans revealed she had a perforation of her colon, and she underwent a six-hour operation, after which she was sent to intensive care to recover. England NHS failings in her
After that, she continued her recovery on a ward. But it later became apparent that the surgery had not been completed correctly.
Fluid was leaking into her body from her small bowel. A drain was inserted but by the time Mrs Simmonds was sent for an emergency colostomy it was too late to save her. She died the next day of multiple organ failure.
“After the surgery it did seem like Lynda was recovering OK, although she did need plenty of fluids,” recalls Mr Simmonds, 53.
“It even got to a point where I took her friend in to see her, and she was able to laugh and joke with her.
“At that point I had no concerns about what was going on.”
On March 27 he visited Lynda in the morning and, as all seemed fine, he planned to return to the hospital on that evening.
But shortly after getting home, he received a call from the hospital. The news came like a bomb- shell. He was told his wife’s condition had deteriorated and that she needed emergency surgery.
He later learned that this was because the drain inserted after surgery was leaking.
“I was stunned by the news,” said Mr Simmonds. “But I felt that at least she was in the best possible place.
“But when she came out of surgery, she was placed in intensive care and on life support machines. We knew at that point that she was in a critical condition.”
The next day, Mr Simmonds was advised that his wife had developed faecal peritonitis and multiple organ away at 9pm.
Now, the family has won a settlement with the Trust, after instructing negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham.
“We all miss Lynda so much,” said John. “I still cannot believe how quickly her condition deteriorated. I’m very angry and frustrated by what happened, particularly when it came to her final moments.
“I was told on the evening to get myself a coffee. While I was doing this, a nurse ran up and told me I would miss the chance to say goodbye if I didn’t hurry back.
“When I did, the machines had already been switched off. I’m still devastated by this.”
A spokeswoman for the Heart of England Trust said: “We apologise to the family of Mrs Simmonds.
“We have agreed a settlement on this claim, which was a complex surgical case where complications arose following necessary surgery.” failure. She died
I still cannot believe how quickly her condition deteriorated John Simmonds
> Lynda Simmonds as a young Heartlands Hospital midwife and, right, in more recent years