Skip navigation
6,315 Views 4 Replies Last post: Apr 27, 2010 8:11 AM by cgrooby83214 RSS
2 posts since
Mar 23, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 23, 2010 2:08 AM

Concerned over sudden death.


My family and i lost my mother yesterday. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in January this year and throughout the whole process we have felt that the only consistant thing has been the total incompetance of the NHS when it comes to dealing with lung cancer - Following her diagnosis in January we had to fight just to get her some kind of action plan for treatment - then two days after finally getting some action and initial radiotherapy treatment planned in we were told that the cancer was terminal and that there would only be one course of radiotherapy with the intention of prolonging my mothers life and relieving her symptoms.  On Tuesday last week we were given a prognosis of about a years survival for my mother.  As she had been in hospital due to shortness of breath when the prognosis was given it was decided on Friday to move her into the hospice within the hospital so she would be more comfortable and in a more peaceful atmosphere whilst she bore the effects of the radiotherapy.



On Saturday my siblings visisted my mother along with several friends and relatives - they all said that my mother was in good spirits and as well as could be expected.  Her last visitor left at about 6 30 Saturday evening.  My brother received a call a few hours later saying my mothers condition had detiriorated and that she had been given mild sedation but that he should come to the hospice.  My mother never regained conciousness and died Sunday morning - about 2 hours after the level of sedation had been increased to make her "more comfortable".  Due to the lack of urgency shown by nearly all the clinical staff and the general lackadisical attitude shown towards my mothers treatment prior to her admission to the hospice we have been left devastated and confused and very concerned that our wonderful mother went from laughing and joking and looking forward to her treatment and release from hospital to comatose and dying within a matter of hours.



My own personal concern is that as she was in a hospice where they specialise in helping people move from this wold to the next and despite the fact she had been admitted for clinical reasons she somehow was "helped" on her way during one of the few periods when she had no friends or family at her bedside. I hasten to add that this is just a concern at the moment although due to our concern we have requested a post mortem to be carried out as her death was so sudden and  unexpected.



I know that following berevement it is not unusual to look for someone to blame and to be angry and frustrated but i would like to know if anyone else has any similar experiences.  And can i also say that this post is not meant to denigrate or decry the valuable and hard work done by so many nurses and carers in hopices throughout the country or to scare or alarm any other forum users, i am just very concerned about the events regarding my mothers death.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and thanking anyone able to reply in advance.



canasta 107 posts since
Dec 28, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
1. Mar 24, 2010 12:10 AM in response to: cabbie1
Re: Concerned over sudden death.

Dear Cabbi1,


so sorry to read your post, my mum was diagnosed with lung cancer in dec and is still doing ok, living on her own and having chemo, first she told me she only had two months but now says she has up to two years so maybe the docs don't really know?



My fil died last May- long story but very much like your Mum.



86yrs old, living in warden accomodation on own with cleaner/dinner everyday, fell and broke hip, 4 days later after being in hospital on paracetomal,op for hip replacement, 8wks later still in hospital with upset tummy. told he could not go home and would be moved to nursing home, very unhappy!! Tuesday said I would rather die than go in a home in call to my hubby.



Friday morning, call from ward get here quick he is dying!, 5hrs drive arrived, fil semi-consious, morphine pump in place!!



Hospital had  withheld food and drink since wednesday!!!



Sat with him for four days giving him drops of water on a sponge which he bit VERY HARD!! although not concious. Lips blistered , tonque swollen with lack of water. kept asking why he was dying and told organs shutting down -no reason given.



Died monday night, no pm, death certificate given - cause of death pheumonia!!! so why no treatment?



My husband won't question it as it won't bring him back but I fail to understand how a healthy elderly man can just die? and why the withdrawal of food and water the day after telling him he was going into a nursing home and why on friday was he on morphine? when he was only given paracetomal for  a broken hip?



I have since heard about the Liverpool care Plan and think he was put on that! Who arranged that without his or our consent. For someone to make that decision for him is outragous He SHOULD still be alive but my hubby won't even talk about it as it won't bring his Dad back. I can't think of any other reason why he was fine on the Tuesday, not eating on the Wed, in coma by friday and dead on Monday.



Is this a way of getting rid of the burden to the NHS of eldery patients?

9 posts since
Mar 23, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
2. Mar 24, 2010 2:08 PM in response to: canasta
Re: Concerned over sudden death.


Hi there



Firstly - I am very sorry for both of your loses.



Secondly - I have a fairly similar story.  3 years ago my dear Nan died of lung cancer.  We didn't even know?  She was a very able woman.  Optomist, joker, caring and kind.  I am from a military background and my Nan was was in the Army.  Giving her this "bolt upright posture" always smart and tailored.  Bless her.  Prior to this.  About 7 years ago she had trouble breathing, an x-ray was taken - showing a shadow on the lung.  This was kept under observation.  Anyway she had her yearly check up's and on one occasion she was told she was breathing better than the year before (shadow still present) (nothing done about it)



So my Nan - a widower carried on life as normal, still able as stated previously, still washing and ironing, living on her own, in her own flat (this was a 2 minute walk from my mothers house - who was her carer for her Arthritus)  So we were always on hand and one of us was always at her flat everyday.  She was never alone for long!  So 3 years ago (I was living in Newcastle at the time)  I get a phone call saying Nan has been admitted to hospital for her breathing (this was on the Monday)  I drive down to Kent on the Tuesday morning and my dear Nan died the early hours of Friday Morning!



There was never any indication of cancer!  I mean she was having regular breathing check up's etc.  But aside from that, she lived a normal life up until that Monday morning where she found it hard to find her breath.  We had the nightmare of the staff "brushing it aside" numerous times I walked in and her drip had fallen out, she was lop sided, with her nightdress and private parts on display.  Of course at the time this was taken up by my family and the staff and was told it was disrespectful and not on.   Consequently we had the dreded phone call in the early hours - "your mothers organs are shutting down" "you must come to the hospital"  She was hooked up to Morphine and was unconcious.  We wasn't there long, she passed away, with the majority of the family at her beside.  I did have my concerns and grievences with the hospital and staff.  For numerous reasons and it shouldn't be allowed.  They shouldn't get away with it.



On the other hand - not all hospitals and staff are like that.  The funny thing is.  My Nan never suffered - she never knew she had lung cancer.  She lived with it oblivious.  Even with the handful of unprofessional staff.  The family was there on hand 24/7, she wasn't alone for long.  The only time she looked poorly was the Thurday night.  She looked withdrawn and a little scared.  I prayed for her to be out of pain and to be taken - she was.  She never went through what some people go through on here.  And what close friends I know have gone through.  She never had chemo or radio, as I say she was oblivious and only in hospital for 4 days.  I thank God for that.



It's terrible what you have both gone through.  What everyone has or is going through.  The admiration I have for you all is mind blowing.  We all have a way of coping and the human body and mind is a powerful organ.  Our self help mechanisims kick in when you least expect it.  All I can say is if you feel you want to take up the lack of care and sensitivity regarding your father-in-law then go for it; however as your husband says "it won't bring him back" however it may help others care in the future and on that note I think you should make a complaint.  Even if it just helps another patients care in this horrendous situation and fight against this disease then go for it.  PALS is the complaint service.  I wish you all the best, the both of you and please keep us updated.  Much love



Neen x



cgrooby83214 15 posts since
Mar 8, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
3. Apr 7, 2010 9:26 PM in response to: cabbie1
Re: Concerned over sudden death.

i have just come across your post and i am amazed i also have a post on here about my dad and everything was the same we have put a letter of complaint into the hospital as there is no hospice in our area but we still have no reply and just keep getting fobbed off i was even tempted to go to our local mp about my dad. I am so angry still and i can see his face on the hour before they gave him that last injection we should never of left him with these people to just pump him full of who knows what i think he knew what they were going to do and the best of it is he had no symptoms of lung cancer and he was 61years of age.Has it made you really scared of dying as it haunts me every night to think your life is out of your own hands and is decided by some doctors and nurses.I do not mean to be this hard but to watch this happening to someone you love

cgrooby83214 15 posts since
Mar 8, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
4. Apr 27, 2010 8:11 AM in response to: cabbie1
Re: Concerned over sudden death.

I do not know whether you still come on the site or not but i was just wondering if you got any answers.I am still waiting apparently there are questions that the doctors cannot seem to answer.It just makes me wonder even more if things were done properley and how long it will go on for so that we are all able to grieve properely.I beleive the questions which we asked were basic nursing questions and cannot understand why they are not answering them has anyone been through all of this and could my dad of had a bit more time if they had not give up on him.I would love to hear from you if anyone has experienced anything like this as just do not know who to talk to anymore.

  Contact a moderator

  Support us

More like this

  • Retrieving data ...

Looking for forum tips?

Visit Cancer Chat tips for quick help on using the forum, including FAQs and our house rules

Contact a specialist nurse