‘No evidence’ to support dad had cancer before death, inquest hears
A PENSIONER who died after being told he had cancer did not have the disease, an inquest has heard.
Gerald Tarr, of Aberfan, died at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil on August 25 last year.
The father, 76, was known to have a variety of health problems including kidney failure. He was also diagnosed with lung cancer shortly before he died.
But on Thursday, Aberdare Coroner’s Court heard there was no evidence to show he had the disease. Instead a pathologist’s report, conducted by Dr Margaret Sanders and Dr Jason Shannon, concluded Mr Tarr died from multi-organ failure caused by bronchopneumonia and consolidation.
Contributing factors included a fractured neck of femur and ischaemic heart disease. The court heard Mr Tarr experienced a fall before his death that resulted in him breaking his femur.
Giving evidence at the inquest, his daughter Heather Tarr said: “The night before my father wanted to go in the shower so we put a chair in the shower for him. But when my father got out of the shower he slipped and fell on the floor. I told him to call me before he went in the shower but he didn’t.”
Ms Tarr, who lived next door to her father, said she wished he had called her before the accident occurred as he was “very weak”.
Family members helped Mr Tarr onto a bed when they waited for emergency services to arrive. The family later discovered that he had broken his femur as a consequence of the fall but they were told it could be operated on.
In a statement read on behalf of consultant orthopaedic surgeon Stephen Sarasin, coroner Andrew Barkley said the hospital informed the family there could be complications.
The statement read: “[Mr Tarr] told me he did not wish to lie in bed in pain. He wanted to go ahead with the surgery.
“I told Mr Tarr and his daughter there was a chance that he would die during or after the operation. It was noted that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer but the details were a little vague.”
A statement provided by Ms Tarr said her father had “lost a lot of weight” before he died.
Concluding the inquest, Mr Barkley said: “There was no evidence to support that he had cancer.
“I accept that Mr Tarr died from multi-organ failure caused by bronchopneumonia and consolidation.Contributing factors included fractured femur and the issues he had with his kidneys.
“I conclude Mr Tarr’s death was that of natural causes.”