Somerset

Father's anger after girl died during torchlit surgery

Emma Welch takes part in the Snowdon teddy bear climb Image copyright Brain Tumour Research
Image caption Emma Welch led a world record attempt for the largest number of teddies assembled on a mountaintop shortly before her death

The father of a teenager who died after surgeons were forced to operate on her by torchlight has said he "no longer has any respect for the NHS".

Emma Welch, 14, died in June 2015 after complications following surgery to correct curvature of the spine.

Two emergency theatres at Bristol Children's Hospital were in use, so she was operated on in a ward in the middle of the night.

Her father Tony said: "Nothing like this should have happened."

He said: "This was a routine operation which went badly wrong.

"I don't for one moment believe that Emma wouldn't have stood a better chance by going into an operating theatre."

Image caption Tony Welch said his daughter "would have had a better chance" if an operating theatre had been available

Mr Welch was speaking after an inquest cleared the hospital of any blame.

The coroner said the situation in no way led to Emma's death.

In a statement, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust offered its "sincere condolences" to Emma's family.

It said: "The coroner heard that the complication Emma experienced was incredibly rare.

"Whilst any surgery or treatment carries risks, we do our utmost to ensure that we keep the children in our care safe.

"As a hospital we will always review these rare circumstances, to make the treatment and surgery we give as safe as possible."

Image copyright Brain Tumour Research
Image caption Emma's record attempt took her to the summit of Snowdon

Four days before her operation, Emma had led the bid to set a record for the largest number of teddies assembled on a mountaintop.

Emma and a team of volunteers climbed Snowdon with 135 soft toys in tow.

The teenager, of Chilcompton, Somerset, had also completed a 1,000-mile (1,609km) bike ride and scaled a height equivalent to Mount Everest on a climbing wall in aid of Brain Tumour Research.

Image copyright Brain Tumour Research
Image caption One of Emma's charity feats was to scale the equivalent of the height of Everest on a climbing wall

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