A grieving widow is demanding answers after her husband was discharged from hospital and died just 17 hours later.
William Romp, 88, was taken home by ambulance after a doctor deemed him fit for discharge.
But after a paramedic said he didn’t think he should have been sent home, his family called for another doctor, who told them to take him back to hospital.
His wife, Brenda, 82, dialled 999, and William was rushed back into A&E near their home in Canterbury, Kent on December 5 – the last time she would see him alive.
Brenda has questioned why retired postman William, who suffered with dementia and the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was ever discharged in the first place.
She said: “When he got home the man could barely stand.
“He was so ill he couldn’t eat or drink.
“He could hardly speak, he couldn’t stand up.
“The ambulance men got him into bed and one of them said to me that he shouldn’t be here.
“He could hardly breathe.”
Brenda has also raised concerns about William’s care at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, recalling the haunting last moments they shared together after 36 years of marriage.
She added: “All he had on was a pair of hospital pyjamas they’d sent him home in, even though he had new clothes in his bag.
“The ambulance people wouldn’t even put his dressing gown on and it was bitterly cold.
“His teeth were chattering.
“They got him into the chair and all of a sudden he stopped breathing as heavy and he looked at me.
“It was the look in his eyes.
“He said ‘can you look after me darling?’
“I told him I wasn’t well enough to but that he’d be OK.”
Brenda and her daughter, Julie, were called by hospital staff the following morning, December 6, to say William’s condition was deteriorating.
They arrived at 9.45am – 15 minutes after he had died.
Brenda said: “It was terrible.
“We were sitting in this room with the doctor and he said Bill was perfectly fit to send home when he was discharged.
“I asked them ‘why did he die then?’ I can’t get any answers. It’s disgusting.
“I want to know why he was sent home like that.
“He was so weak he couldn’t even talk to me properly.”
Brenda added: “He was a fussy man, a smart man, but his nails were filthy.
“When they let me see him he stank.
“His hair was usually blonde but it was dark brown because of the grease.
“I put my hand under the bedclothes to hold his hand and he was still damp.
“He wasn’t looked after properly and I need answers.
“He was such a loving, romantic husband. It just hurts that I can’t find anything out.
“I think I deserve to know so it can put my mind at rest.”
An inquest has been opened to examine the circumstances surrounding William’s death.
But devastated Brenda said: “I can’t sleep.
“Every time I walk past his bedroom all I can think is about when he left the house without his dressing gown on.
“It was that look in his eyes. I don’t feel like he’s gone.”
Brenda has made a formal complaint about William’s care to the patient advice and liaison service.