Inquiry reignites concerns over mum's care

Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012

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A Nelson woman has complained to the health and disability commissioner after discovering the Wairau Hospital surgeon who operated on her mother before she died is being investigated by the police.

Jackie Woolley said her 75-year-old mother, Annette Woolley, of Grovetown, died unexpectedly at Wellington Hospital on January 11. She had been transferred to Wellington from Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim, the previous day after suffering complications from bowel surgery.

The surgeon at Wairau was Michael Parry.

The coroner's office announced on December 7 that it had suspended an inquiry into two deaths involving Parry so the police could run their own investigation.

Parry stood down from the hospital in May and remains on paid leave.

Woolley said her mother had been admitted to hospital on January 4 after complaining of back pain and she understands Parry removed a cancerous section of her bowel.

Three days after the operation, Woolley texted her daughter from hospital saying she was in a lot of pain.

Woolley visited her mother at Wairau Hospital the next day and found her bloated and very uncomfortable, she said.

Wairau Hospital discharge summary notes show that on January 9, five days after the initial operation, she had further surgery to check whether the bowel was perforated. Multiple small leaks were found where the bowel had been rejoined, as well as evidence of infection, the notes say.

She was transferred to Wellington Hospital the day after that second operation and died there the following day, January 11.

Woolley has been told by a family member that a coroner's report found her mother died of septicaemia, but she was yet to see a copy.

"When Mum died I wanted answers but no-one would let me have them," Woolley said.

Picton woman Adrien Pitcon-Mason lodged a complaint with the Health and Disability Commission on Saturday on behalf of Woolley.

She is also acting as advocate for the family of another woman who died following surgery by Parry and for two other women he had operated on.

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- The Marlborough Express

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