Nick Rousseau died from an undiagnosed blocked bowel in 2019 after doctors at Milton Keynes Hospital failed to spot that he had the life-threatening condition.
The 47-year-old was sent home twice in three days and reassured he “would be alright” as doctors believed he had gastroenteritis, his “devastated” wife Kimberly White said.
But Mr Rosseau was actually suffering from an ischaemic bowel, a condition which blocks the arteries to the bowel. He had been to see his doctors several times and had lost three stones in weight over two years due to vomiting and diarrhoea but was never correctly diagnosed.
His family recently received a six-figure payout from Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. While it did not admit negligence, it accepted that there were features of Mr White’s illness which could have justified admission, inpatient observation, and further tests, which could have given a definitive diagnosis.
In April 2019, his wife came home to find him “lying in agony” on the floor and he was taken to hospital. He was then “misdiagnosed” a month later with thrush of the stomach, a statement from law firm Osbornes Law, which represented the family said.
By September 2019, he was in “excruciating pain” and was taken to A&E by ambulance but sent home. He returned again the next day only to be told to go home again.
On 8 October 2019, Ms White came home to find her husband lying dead in the bathroom in a pool of blood.
She believes doctors could have spotted the bowel blockage if they had given him a CT scan.
Ms White, 33, said: “It was horrific to see how much pain Nick was in over those last few days, but the doctors kept on saying that he would be fine if he went home and drank Lucozade.
“It makes me really angry that the trust has never taken responsibility for what happened to Nick or apologised to me. That is all I have ever wanted from this. If I get that then I will feel like I have done everything I possibly could for Nick.”
She added: “I can still hear the sound of my scream when I found him. I know people talk about a broken heart, but my heart physically hurts. My life was ripped to shreds in that moment and everything changed … the whole episode has left me with PTSD.”