Mum sent home from hospital dies

By | September 5, 2019

A superfit mum died after breaking her leg in a half-marathon after it was misdiagnosed as a pulled hamstring, an inquest heard this week.

Mother-of-two Sarah-Jayne Roche, 39, from South Wales, was told by medics “there is not much else we can do” when she felt a shooting pain up her leg while running the Cardiff half-marathon.

An inquest heard she was turned away from hospital three times — but later died from a suspected heart attack 12 days after the race.

The school worker, who had two sons aged 12 and eight, was running to raise money for Parkinson’s disease after her father Alan was diagnosed with the illness.

But about the 11km point in the race with her husband Steven, 42, she felt “a shooting pain up her leg” and came to a halt.

An inquest heard Ms Roche was checked over by ambulance workers who diagnosed a pulled hamstring, but she was taken to emergency three times by her family in “excruciating pain” in the following days before she tragically died.

On the first visit to hospital on the day of the race on October 7 last year, Ms Roche was told to “apply some ice and take ibuprofen and paracetamol”.

Steven said his wife “found it very difficult to get it in and out of the car and she needed a wheelchair”.

The following day she visited again and was prescribed stronger painkillers and told to “try a hot water bottle” instead of ice.

“The doctor was asking her to move the leg but she was in excruciating pain at that point. She was very distressed,” Mr Roche said.

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He then decided he was going to get a second opinion.

The inquest heard another doctor came into the room but only suggested a hot water bottle and stronger painkillers.

“She didn’t really suggest any other examination,” he said.

“The doctor’s conclusion was ‘there is not much else I can do’, or words to that effect.”

Ms Roche spent the following days in bed and had to shuffle upstairs sitting down.

The inquest heard her leg and foot had swollen and her foot was cold to touch.

She was seen at an arranged appointment on October 12 and referred for physio, but on October 16 she was taken to hospital in “absolute agony”.

The inquest heard Ms Roche’s leg was now twice its usual size.

She spent three days in hospital before she died on October 19 from the suspected cardiac arrest.

The inquest heard Ms Roche was not sent for an X-ray until her final visit to emergency — when deep vein thrombosis had already set in.

A post-mortem examination found Ms Roche had a blood clot in the right coronary artery, a clot in the left calf and femoral vein.

Her medical cause of death was pulmonary embolism with deep vein thrombosis and a fractured femur.

The inquest heard immobility was a significant factor in the development of “fairly large” blood clots.

The inquest continues.

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