THE death of a former nurse was accidental, a coroner has concluded.

Enid Lewis, 82, of Wepre Court in Connah’s Quay, died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital on March 15 last year.

Resuming an inquest into her death John Gittins, coroner for North Wales East and Central, read a statement from Mrs Lewis’ daughter Helen Williams.

In it she explained her mother, a divorced former nurse who was born in Buckley, had arranged to have a routine operation to reverse a stoma in March 2018.

The stoma was the result of a previous operation she had previously undergone in 2016 for the removal of a cancer in her bowel, as well as a hernia.

Mrs Williams, a registered nurse, told the inquest at Ruthin that her mother was not a ‘frail old lady’ but was very active and independent.

The surgery took place on March 8 and Mrs Lewis stayed on the Fleming Ward at Wrexham Maelor Hospital for the following few days.

The inquest heard members of her family raised concerns with staff on the ward that she was not herself and that she seemed confused.

Mrs Williams told the hearing she and her relatives had problems with the attitude of the ward staff, feeling that they were trying to rush her out of the hospital.

Family members took her home and said her out-of-character behaviour continued, describing her as ‘angry’ and having difficulty keeping food in her mouth.

She later fell in her bathroom and when her daughters checked, her eyes were glazed and they could not find her pulse, following which an ambulance was called.

Mrs Lewis returned to the hospital and despite intervention from critical care doctors her condition deteriorated and she died on March 15.

A post-mortem examination concluded the cause of Mrs Lewis’ death was peritonitis as a result of small intestine obstructions and ischemia, which was caused by post-operation complications of an ileostomy closure following her operation in 2016.

The surgeon who conducted both her 2016 and 2018 operations, Mr Palanichamy Chandran, told the hearing the reversal of the ileostomy was ‘straight forward’ and he had no problems at all.

Regarding the obstructions identified in the post-mortem examination, he explained that any operation involving the abdomen – such as Mrs Lewis’ procedure in 2016 – has a risk of creating adhesions or bands of scar tissue.

Simone Sigsworth, manager of Fleming Ward, said that following the death of Mrs Lewis she had written to her staff and that they had since taken part in a communications workshop which was followed up with a monthly audit.

Asked what she thought about the impression that had been given to Mrs Lewis’ family when they tried to raise concerns about her confusion, Mrs Sigsworth said: “It is not acceptable and I apologise.”

Mr Gittins recorded a conclusion of an accidental death, explaining the unintended consequences of the 2016 operation had been the adhesions which had contributed to her death.