CASE STUDY 1 Star Wars actor died waiting
STAR WARS actor Richard Bonehill was found dead in his car after his potentially lifesaving heart operation was cancelled twice due to bed shortages.
He needed surgery on a leaking heart valve, which had been scheduled to take place at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, on January 5, 2015.
But it was cancelled after the hospital was put on ‘black alert’ – meaning bed capacity had been reached. The procedure was rescheduled for a fortnight later. However, by then the alert was still in force, and the second date duly cancelled.
Mr Bonehill, 65, of St Ives, Cornwall, who played a stormtrooper in The Empire Strikes Back, smuggler Nien Nunb in Return Of The Jedi and appeared in Doctor Who, was found dead in February.
At an inquest last year, cardiac consultant Mr Clinton Lloyd said: ‘His heart muscle was not working well and his valve was leaking severely when he came to see me. There is a risk with cardiomyopathy that there can be sudden death.’
The coroner ruled Mr Bonehill died of natural causes.