Tribute to mother who died from superbug

FAMILY tributes have been paid today to a pensioner who died after contracting a superbug following routing surgery at Ipswich Hospital.

FAMILY tributes have been paid today to a pensioner who died after contracting a superbug following routing surgery at Ipswich Hospital.

Daphne Fairweather, 77, from Ipswich, is believed to have been one of the first people to die in a Suffolk hospital as a result of the infection.

She had only been expected to be in hospital for just a week after the operation in September last year.

Her son, who asked not to be named, said: “It was a shock to everyone when she died we all thought she was going in for a routine procedure but sadly it wasn't to be.”

He said his mother was in the early stages of the disease and the first operation had gone well but then she took a turn for the worse, developing complications.

Following a second operation a few days later she was taken into intensive care and into and isolation room after it was revealed she had tested positive for C-diff.

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Initially Mrs Fairweather's death certificate made no reference to the infection C-diff, it was only when the family made enquiries that the hospital obliged and included it on the form.

Jan Rowsell, Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman, said: “We again extend our sympathies to the family of Mrs Fairweather.

“The family asked us to list C-diff on the death certificate so obviously we took on board what they asked of us.

“In the 14 months since then the picture of infection control at the hospital has transformed.”

At an inquest into Mrs Fairweather's death last week, Greater Suffolk coroner Peter Dean said she had undergone a necessary operation for bowel cancer at the hospital but had encountered complications, recording a death from the infection.

But Mrs Fairweather's family extended their thanks for the “excellent” care she received in the time she spent at Ipswich Hospital saying the staff did everything they could to try to cure her.

Her son added: “The staff at Ipswich Hospital were wonderful, we couldn't have wished for better care.

“All the doctors and nursing staff, especially those in intensive care did a great job looking after her.

“We are relieved to have the coroner's verdict; it has drawn a line under it. Nothing can bring her back.

“Hopefully there have been some positives, things have changed they are more active with infection control with the hand washing campaign and the isolation ward.”

The extra measures recently introduced include a review of antibiotic prescribing as well as taking specialist advice from the Strategic Health Authority support team in November 2007 and March 2008.

In the tribute, Mrs Fairweather's son added: “She was extremely proud of her family. Nothing gave her greater pleasure than the time she spent with us.

“She believed that to survive in life you needed two things, love and good health, throughout her life she had these in abundance.”

He added she cared for her husband during his illness up until his death from cancer in 2006 and always helped others, working at Ipswich Hospital and helping out at the Salvation Army and old people's homes after her retirement.

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