Inquest order over father-of-eight's death

Published Thursday, 07 August 2014
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The Attorney General has ordered an inquest into the death of a father-of-eight in a Belfast hospital, saying any further delay could have an adverse affect on public safety.

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Alfie Hannaway died of a brain haemorrhage in the Royal Victoria Hospital last September, three weeks after a quadruple heart bypass.

The 61-year-old had been allowed back home after the major surgery and was on the blood-thinning drug Warfarin.

But, he was readmitted to hospital after he took a turn for the worst.

His daughter Roisin Carlile said: "We didn't get to say our final goodbyes and it was just the most heartbreaking experience because daddy was our best friend.

"We were told that it was a major extensive bleed to the brain and we questioned if there was an operation, if there was anything we could do and we were told there was nothing that could be done and he would pass away within a few hours.

"It was just unbelievable that this was happening to daddy after everything being positive and looking to a new life."

The Belfast Trust has already admitted failings in his care. His family says the intervention of the Attorney General, John Larkin is a significant development.

Alfie's family now believe they are edging closer to finding out if his death could have been prevented.

In a letter to the family, the Attorney General confirmed that he has ordered an inquest into Alfie's death, and questioned why one didn't commence immediately.

The letter stated that any further delay could have an adverse affect on public safety.

This development was largely brought about because of the persistence of Alfie's family.

They felt something wasn't right and began asking questions.

As a result, the trust investigated.

Shortcomings in Alfie's care were found including serious deficiencies regarding communication about his surgery and discharge and about the management of the drug Warfarin.

The Trust apologised.

Alfie's daughter Marie-Therese Robinson added: "We want the truth. First and foremost for our daddy.

"If he was here and it happened to one of us he would have been the one to do it for us. We want no other family to go through what we're going through at the minute. The last ten months have been the worst ten months of our lives."

Roisin continued: "There's nothing that's going to bring our daddy back. People have said to us that you'll get closure.

"There's no closure in this for us because our loss has been so great and because daddy was only 61 years old. He should have been here for a lot longer."

The Belfast Trust said it cannot discuss any individual's treatment or care, but confirmed it is in contact with the Hannaway family.

© UTV News
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3 Comments
collette in belfast wrote (83 days ago):
Thank you for ur kind words and support for our daddy .
Jacquifoote Foote in Oxfordshire wrote (110 days ago):
The loss of a family member even when expected is hard enough to come to terms with but when you place your trust in professionals to carry out surgery which will provide your loved one with a better quality of life that's what you should get. Surely the staff treating this gentleman had enough experience to know how to provide the best care. They have obviously failed in their duty of care and someone must be brought to book for this.
robert in ards wrote (110 days ago):
its a very sad case, I saw his daughters on tv and they spoke very well about what had happened, the whole family deserve to know the truth about what happened to their dad and what is being done so it wont occur again to some other family?
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