Hospital to blame for death

Suzanne Gardner PNL-141120-180123001
Suzanne Gardner PNL-141120-180123001

A grandmother-of-six died from a rare flesh-eating bug because doctors were too slow to operate, a High Court judge has ruled.

Suzanne Gardner, 60, died three days after contracting deadly necrotising fasciitis, having slipped on snow on her driveway in Blisworth and cut her arm.

Her widower, Colin, claimed doctors had failed to diagnose and operate in time and sued Northampton General Hospital for negligence.

He will now be awarded full compensation for the loss of his wife of 40 years but the amount has not been disclosed.

The hospital’s NHS Trust apologised to the family for ‘failures and delays’ in A&E but denied liability for her death.

A High Court hearing was told the infection quickly moved up Mrs Gardner’s arms and into her chest. She died at Christmas 2010.

But her family’s lawyers said the popular receptionist’s death could have been avoided if hospital staff had examined her sooner and amputated her arms in time.

Despite being in excruciating pain, she was not deemed a top priority at A&E and by the time she was diagnosed and the operation began, it was too late.

Mr Gardner said given the choice of life or death, the devoted grandmother would have had no problem agreeing to a double amputation if that had been offered earlier.

He said: “She loved life. Her pride and joy were her children and grandchildren. She never walked away from problems.”