DOCTORS were ‘not expecting’ the ‘rapid decline’ of an elderly gentleman after surgery, an inquest heard.

Clifford Parry, of Penrho Estate, Mostyn in Holywell, died on July 10 at Glan Clwyd Hospital with his family around him.

An inquest was resumed into the death of the 85-year-old by John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales (east and central) at Ruthin on Friday.

The hearing heard how the retired coal miner had a knee operation in 2012 and was taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

However he was told to stop taking them in January this year after concerns over side effects and suspected anaemia.

Further tests showed Polyps and bowel cancer and a decision was made to proceed with surgery.

The hearing heard how following the removal of the polyps, Mr Parry was in ‘good shape’ to get the tumour removed but due to losing his daughter to bowel cancer, he was ‘concerned about the outcome’ but came around to it and had his operation on June 28.

The operation had been ‘successful’ and by July 8 plans were in place to move him to Holywell community hospital.

In a statement made by daughter Janet Hughes, she said she visited the ward and was ‘shocked to see him’ he was ‘pale’, his hands were ‘clammy’ and he did ‘not look very well at all’.

The hearing heard how he was given pain relief and became ‘distressed’ and was ‘groaning loudly’.

The family were also told he had ‘lost a lot of blood’ when he went to the toilet and Mr Gittins said there was an ‘absence of communication between the nurses’ and a ‘lack of clarity around the blood loss’.

Mr Gittins said doctors were ‘expecting a slow recovery’ but heard how they were not expecting the events on July 9.

It was suggested that the blood loss was due to passing blood clots in his stool and he was referred to ICU due to the deterioration and his family told to ‘expect the worst’.

Questions were raised over the deterioration happening long after the surgery, but the hearing heard how although ‘very unusual’ could have been caused by ‘some sort of strain’.

Mr Gittins said post-mortem results showed evidence of heart failure and post operation bleeding.

He added: “Without the bleed this could have happened any time and would have been natural cause of death however is an intervening factor. He needed surgery because of the cancer.”

Mr Gittins went on to say that the ‘surgery was successful’ but this was a ‘gentleman who bled more easily’ and in this case the post-op bleed ‘sadly compromised the heart’ leading to heart failure.

It was described as a ‘rapid decline’ and Mr Gittins recorded a conclusion of an accidental death, the unintended consequence of a deliberate act.