Pen­sioner died af­ter street fall

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

A RE­TIRED one-armed win­dow cleaner frac­tured his ribs af­ter a fall on his way to get a news­pa­per and died weeks later in hospi­tal, an in­quest has heard.

Peter O’Rourke, aged 80, died on June 23 at the Univer­sity Hospi­tal of Wales, Cardiff.

An in­quest into his death took place at Cardiff Coro­ner’s Court yes­ter­day.

Mr O’Rourke suf­fered a fall at the junc­tion of South Park Road and Moor­land Road in Splott on May 1 while he was on his way to pick up a news­pa­per.

The in­quest heard he was ad­mit­ted to the Univer­sity Hospi­tal of Wales, Cardiff, where it was found he had suf­fered mul­ti­ple rib frac­tures.

He was also found to have a sec­ondary pneu­moth­o­rax. A pneu­moth­o­rax, or “col­lapsed lung”, hap­pens when there is a tear in the lung and air es­capes into the chest cav­ity.

Mr O’Rourke also de­vel­oped a chest in­fec­tion and on May 24 he was ad­mit­ted to the in­ten­sive care unit with wors­en­ing res­pi­ra­tory is­sues.

Nearly a month later he died on June 23 at the hospi­tal at 5.05pm.

Coro­ner Philip Spin­ney summed up that Mr O’Rourke had suf­fered a fall in Splott where some resurfacing works were be­ing car­ried out.

“There was some de­bris there on which he tripped. He sus­tained mul­ti­ple rib frac­tures, with sec­ondary pneu­moth­o­rax,” he said.

Mr Spin­ney said the pa­tient died on June 23 of “hospi­tal-ac­quired pneu­mo­nia”, caused by the “trauma of frac­tured ribs”.

Son Steve O’Rourke told the in­quest: “My fa­ther had a false arm and he fell on his arm, which im­pacted into his ribs.”

The in­quest was told Mr O’Rourke had a pros­thetic left arm af­ter a “trau­matic am­pu­ta­tion” years ago.

Ad­dress­ing the cause of death, the coro­ner said Mr O’Rourke fell on May 1, re­sult­ing in mul­ti­ple rib frac­tures and was then ad­mit­ted to the Univer­sity Hospi­tal of Wales, Cardiff, where he de­vel­oped a chest in­fec­tion and his con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated.

He recorded a con­clu­sion of ac­ci­den­tal death.

Mr Spin­ney added: “He suf­fered an ac­ci­den­tal fall and as a re­sult of that has had rib frac­tures, has had an in­jury to his lung and has de­vel­oped a chest in­fec­tion from which he was un­able to re­cover.”

Speak­ing af­ter the in­quest, sons Steve and Chris paid tribute to their fa­ther.

Son Steve, who lives in Cardiff, said: “He went to get his news­pa­pers in the morn­ing, which he did ev­ery day.

“He made that same jour­ney ev­ery day for the last 30 years at least.”

They both paid tribute to their hard-work­ing fa­ther.

They said: “He was a hard-work­ing, good man, put his fam­ily first. He gen­uinely did. He was worko­ri­en­tated.”

They said he worked as a piledriver, do­ing ground­works, un­til he lost his arm. He then went on to work for a win­dow cleaner.

“He didn’t stop work­ing when he lost his arm. He worked all his life af­ter­wards, un­til re­tire­ment age.

“He al­ways worked. He had a good work ethic.”

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