A POPULAR family man who had recently retired died following a routine operation, an inquest has heard.

Donald Kelly, 76, died on September 29, 2021, at his home in Winskill Way, Carlisle.

The former porter at the Cumberland Infirmary had been admitted the day before for a procedure to remove gall stones.

He had returned home later that day and was in good form, according to his family, but his health deteriorated through the night.

His wife, Mary, had checked in on him in the morning and gone to get a neighbour to help. By the time they returned he had fallen out of bed. A paramedic later declared him deceased.

At an inquest in Cockermouth, coroner Nicholas Shaw concluded that Mr Kelly died as a result of a 'rare but serious and severe complication'.

He explained that every medical procedure has a one in 500 risk of death.

"It seems to me that very sadly Donald was that one in 500.

"Nothing has been done wrong, it's simply that there was always going to be one and Donald was that one," he said.

The inquest heard Carlisle-born Mr Kelly had left school at 15 and went on to do an apprenticeship, qualifying as an electrician at the age of 21. He worked in that role for 30 years.

"He was always working hard; his boss recognised his hard-working ethic," said Mrs Kelly.

The couple married in 1967, had two sons and a daughter.

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"He was an unbelievable husband, father, grandad and great-grandad," said Mrs Kelly.

She worked at the hospital. Mr Kelly started work there in 1995 as a porter and stayed there for 26 years.

"All the staff and patients loved him. He had only recently retired, the family got him to," she said.

"He was loved by everyone. He was hardworking and all the family looked up to him, he was a role model.

"It's a huge loss but we will all forever cherish the memories."

Following the operation there was inflammation deep inside the abdomen, causing bleeding, the inquest heard.

A post mortem revealed the medical cause of death was pancreatitis. The pathologist described this as 'quite severe' with extensive bleeding.

Dr Shaw gave a narrative conclusion, saying: "Death was a result of a rare but serious and severe complication of a necessary surgical procedure."

He added: "I would like to be reassured that Donald's death is included in statistics somewhere.

"I intend to write to the British Society of Gastroenterology to say that after a routine procedure a gentleman has died and the family would like it to be recorded as a complication."

Dr Shaw thanked Mr Kelly's family, saying: "You have given a very good picture of the chap he was, working away until the age of 76. There was much to be admired."

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