"No one told me my husband was critical and could die within hours"

About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital / Clinical oncology

(as a relative),

When my husband was admitted with acute abdominal pain, I was very disappointed that, when he was taken to AMAU, (I think this was what is called) he wasn't given a scan. We knew that he was at end stage lymphoma and was told he had weeks to months to live and that we should take a short holiday.

Coming home from his hospital appointment, he developed an acute pain and was in agony. Once he was on the ward nobody told me that this was critical. The doctor came and asked if he would want to be resuscitated but never told me that my husband was critical and could die within hours. I went home that night leaving him as I thought that he would be ok. Why did no one tell me that he had a perforated bowel and had hours to live? I am deeply upset about this as I had things that I needed to say to him. Why did they not scan him? 6 o'clock he went into hospital and it wasn't until 4 o'clock the following day that I was told that he had a' suspected 'perforated bowel and would not survive.

The doctor asked me if I thought he needed more pain relief and I agreed. 45 mins later my husband was gone. I feel angry. I feel that I should have been told that after admitting the last dose of medication, he would die quickly by using the doctrine of double effect. I also would have liked to know where his perforation was as knowing all the information that I can obtain helps with my grief and understanding of what happened. I wish so much that I could get the answers to these questions.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry that you were not kept informed during your husband's illness and we would like to offer our condolences for your loss.

You may find it helpful to talk through what happened with a member of our staff or ask us questions about the care of your husband. If you would like to get in touch, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on pals@nnuh.nhs.uk

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story