A much-loved, happy-go-lucky father died from injuries suffered after falling in the shower and banging his head, an inquest at Eastbourne heard today (Thursday).
John Kelly, from Filching Road, was initially admitted to the DGH after suffering from a heart attack, and later died on December 3 when he fell and hit his head while trying to shower unaccompanied in the Kings Drive hospital’s care unit.
Mr Kelly’s daughter Toni Kelly said in a statement, “My dad had a great personality, everybody loved him and he had many friends. He loved Liverpool Football Club and would watch every match.
“I grew up in a loving, happy, family home. He has always been involved in my life. We had a close bond since he was my only parent.”
The family said after the inquest, “He was happy-go-lucky. He loved and enjoyed life, and was a family man. It’s a shame it’s happened.”
Mr Kelly was found on the floor by junior nurse Stacey Pollard. She said in a statement, “I heard a loud noise when I was in the corridor. I checked and saw Mr Kelly lying on the floor. He appeared to be having a seizure.”
Miss Pollard said senior members of staff came to help and Mr Kelly later became responsive.
Following the fall, the inquest heard, Mr Kelly had a CT scan on the day of his death which showed a ‘clear deterioration’ and a ‘continuing bleed’ on the brain.
Coroner Alan Craze asked the interim serious incident manager at the DGH, Nicky Creasey, and the matron care worker, Kerrie Nyland, if Mr Kelly should have been showering on his own.
Kerrie Nyland said, “We certainly would not recommend someone go for a shower. Members of staff were not aware Mr Kelly was going for a shower. He was asked to ring the bell at all times and not mobilise.”
Mr Craze said, “This man had only just had a heart attack, trying to be as careful as he could be. I would have thought there should be a protocol in place to say he should not be able to mobilise and walk around.
“That is my feeling. Do you agree? What further advice should be given to prevent something like this happening again.”
Nicky Creasey agreed to take Mr Craze’s comments back to the DGH and notify him and the family in writing the changes the DGH will make in future.
The coroner recorded a conclusion of accidental death and offered his condolences to the family.