Husband speaks out after wife died suddenly after hospital discharge

malcolm and teresa

Malcolm and Teresa were married for over 30 years. She leaves behind a husband and three children. - Credit: Irwin Mitchell

A grieving husband is calling for lessons to be learned after his wife died suddenly from sepsis poisoning after being discharged from hospital with a kidney infection.

Teresa Anderson, of Ryeburn Close, Kessingland, attended the James Paget University Hospital on May 11, 2020, complaining of a sharp pain in her left side.

The 60-year-old was suspected of having kidney stones and was discharged in the early hours of the following day.


Teresa died during the height of the Covid pandemic. - Credit: Irwin Mitchell

An inquest at Norfolk coroner’s court last week concluded that Mrs Anderson died from acute pyelonephritis which was not initially diagnosed and treated.

Following a CT scan she was suspected to have had kidney stones and, after consultation with doctors, the mother-of-four and grandmother-of-12 was discharged in the early hours of May 12.

By the next day, she started vomiting and was feeling cold and shaking, before being taken back to hospital by ambulance, where she died the following morning, May 14, aged 60. 

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A post-mortem examination stated the cause of death as sepsis and pyelonephritis, which is a severe kidney infection.

Following Mrs Anderson's death, her family, including husband Malcolm, 65, instructed medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and support them through the inquest process.

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Mr Anderson has now warned of the dangers of sepsis.

It comes after a Root Cause Analysis Investigation Report by the Trust stated that Mrs Anderson's death was the outcome of not receiving antibiotics during her first hospital admission.

It found a suspected diagnosis of kidney infection was not flagged in a CT scan report.

If it had been, her care plan would have been changed and she would have been kept in hospital and intravenous antibiotics started, it stated.

The report said that Mrs Anderson, who was retired, would probably have survived if she had received antibiotics.

No in-patient urology beds at James Paget Hospital allowing for the great-grandmother to be admitted to a ward was also a contributory factor, the report found. 

If she had been admitted, the sepsis may have been picked up earlier “and the outcome may have been different,” the report said. 

The case was at the height of Covid-19 pandemic when patients and doctors “were advised on avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions”, it added.

The couple were married for 30 years at the time of her death. 

The couple had four children, and became sole guardians of their then-three-year-old grandson Tye after the death of their daughter Natasha around 10 years ago.

Mr Anderson, a retired fisherman, said: “The past 15 months have been unbearable. 

"To lose a daughter and now my wife is awful and I still can’t get my head around the fact that Teresa isn’t here anymore.

"My life will never be the same again.

“Teresa was the best wife and mum, and I still think about her every single day. 

"We had been together for 44 years and did everything together. 

"We were a team and it devastates me to imagine the rest of my life without her by my side. 

“Our children are also struggling a lot. Tye has now lost two mums. 

“Having to listen to how Teresa died at the inquest has been incredibly difficult for us all, but we’re grateful that we now have some answers as to why she was taken from us so soon and unexpectedly.

“While Teresa was consulted about being discharged from hospital we believe the full extent of how she was seriously ill wasn’t explained, preventing her from making an informed decision about what was best.

"If it was, there was no way she would have come home.

“While nothing will ever change what happened, all we can hope for now is that there are changes to help stop another family from suffering the way we have.”

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