‘No ev­i­dence’ to sup­port dad had can­cer be­fore death, in­quest hears

Cynon Valley - - NEWS -

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.”

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