Payout over man's gastric bypass death at Alexandra Hospital

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Media captionSonia Goodman talks about her husband's death.

The family of a man who died after gastric bypass surgery has been awarded a six figure sum in compensation at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Father-of-two Gary Cooper died after having the weight loss surgery at the BMI Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester in October 2007.

His widow, Sonia, said he had been "led to believe it was a simple operation".

NHS Tameside and Glossop said Mr Cooper's care had been "below the standard he was entitled to expect".

Coroner John Pollard recorded a narrative verdict at an inquest in 2008 and said he had doubts about the way the risks of surgery were explained to Mr Cooper.

He added that he intended to ask the Alexandra Hospital to review its patient discharge policy.

Life support

Mrs Cooper said her husband, who was aged 48 and weighed 26 stone, had undergone the surgery to tackle his weight problem and had been told by doctors that he would be "in and out within a couple of days".

Following the gastric bypass, she said, he had known that something was wrong, but despite informing medical staff had still been discharged within a few days of surgery.

"They said that everything he was experiencing was normal," she said.

"He didn't feel right - Gary was in severe pain, sweating, his heart rate was up."

Soon after returning to his home in Ashton-under-Lyne, Mr Cooper underwent a scan which showed there was a leak where the operation had taken place.

He was rushed back into intensive care and spent several days on a life support machine.

Nine days later, he had a second operation to repair a third leak and, after a brief spell in intensive care, appeared to be recovering well.

But, on 22 November, the day before he was due to be released and his wife's birthday, he collapsed and died.

Trust's apology

Mrs Cooper, 40, said that she "just can't move on" from her husband's death.

A spokesman for NHS Tameside and Glossop said a trust investigation had confirmed that "failings were identified in the care afforded to Gary Cooper at the BMI Alexandra Hospital following surgery which was funded by the PCT".

Image caption NHS Tameside and Glossop said it hoped the settlement would give Mr Cooper's family financial security

"The trust regrets that the care that Mr Cooper received fell below the standard he was entitled to expect," he said.

"A formal letter of apology is being issued to Mrs Cooper and her family for shortcomings in the care afforded to her late husband."

He added that the trust wished Mrs Cooper and her family well for the future and hoped the settlement would "provide financial security".

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