Family say they ‘still don’t have answers’ after Chesterfield mum’s sudden hospital death

Louise Atkinson was described as 'outgoing, beautiful and incredibly loving'.
Louise Atkinson was described as 'outgoing, beautiful and incredibly loving'.

The heartbroken family of a Chesterfield mum who went to hospital for a routine operation but died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage say they are left with ‘unanswered questions’ after her inquest.

Much-loved Louise Atkinson had attended Chesterfield Royal Hospital for elective gynaecological surgery and and her family believed she would be released the same day- but she never came home.

Louise was well known around Chesterfield for her pink and white car.

Louise was well known around Chesterfield for her pink and white car.

Just before the procedure was about to start, on May 19 2017, the 46-year-old suffered an unexpected cardiac arrest on the operating table and died of an ‘unsurvivable brain haemorrhage’ in Intensive Care several hours later.

Coroner Peter Nieto concluded that Louise, of Highfield Lane, ‘suffered a brain haemorrhage while anaesthetised to undergo an elective surgical procedure’.

He found ‘no evidence, on the balance of probabilities, that the anaesthesia and anaesthetic procedure made a significant contribution’ to Louise’s death.

However, Louise’s family have disputed this after doctors giving evidence at the inquest were unable to ascertain whether or not she had definitely been anaesthetised before going into cardiac arrest.

The family also disputed that Louise’s medical records had been checked correctly at a pre-op assessment, though doctors insisted everything ‘had been dealt with correctly, in a timely manner’.

Dr Mark Withers, consultant anaesthetist and intensivist at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, was not involved in the case but gave his medical opinion at the inquest.

He said: “It is my belief that this was a one-off event.

“Fundamentally, the family have lost someone young and healthy, and that is a tragedy.”

Speaking to the Derbyshire Times after the inquest, the family said: “We are not satisfied with the conclusion.

“We feel like we will never have the closure or answers we want.

“ he only good thing to come out of this is that Louise selflessly donated her organs so others could live.

“We would therefore like to stress the importance of organ donation.

“Louise was an outgoing and beautiful person who was also incredibly loving. She was everyone’s mum, very well know around Chesterfield for her pink and white car and her caring nature.

“Staff conducting her funeral told us it was the biggest they had ever seen. She touched countless lives. Treasure every moment with your loved ones- time is precious.”

Louise leaves behind partner Andy, children Nicole, Nadine and Perry and stepchildren Chris and Anthony, along with six grandchildren.

To find out more about organ donation, visit: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/