Inquest: Man, 58, dies of surgical complication at Harrogate District Hospital

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The family of a 58-year-old man have described him as a ‘loved’ and ‘lovely person’ in an inquest which concluded he died from a complication of surgery at Harrogate District Hospital.

Gary Bray, 58, was admitted to hospital at 9.55pm on July 19 last year, with abdominal pains.

Mr Bray was living with Colitis, a condition which refers to the inflammation of the inner lining of the colon.

The court heard that during his admission to hospital, Mr Bray was told he would need surgery to have a bowel resection by Mr Simpson, a Surgical Consultant at HDH.

But on July 20, Mr Bray’s surgery was overseen by the Surgical Consultant on call, Mr Matthew Adelekan.

Mr Adelekan told the court that the procedure took some two and a half hours to complete but that he felt it had gone well.

After the procedure Mr Bray was said to be recovering well but then began complaining of severe pain and vomiting.

The court heard that Mr Bray had gone into cardiac arrest and been successfully resuscitated.

But when he went into cardiac arrest a second time, staff were unable to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead at 10.11am on July 22.

Mr Adelekan faced questions from Mr Bray’s family after the post-mortem report into his death outlined that the cause of death was most likely to be a perforation in Mr Bray’s bowel.

But Mr Adelekan was adamant that the perforation was not caused during the surgery and suggested instead that it could have been caused by some fractured ribs Mr Bray received while he was resuscitated.

He said: “I was there at the surgery and I supervised it and I was very sure it was done properly. That perforation was not there at the time of surgery.”

Coroner Rob Turnbull said that there was “no definitive pathway to decide the cause of death” and concluded that Mr Bray died of a complication of surgery.

Mr Bray’s brother-in-law, Richard Halliday said: “Gary was a lovely man and was loved by his family.”