herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Family fury after bride-to-be dies in agony at hospital

THE angry family of a woman who died in hospital just days before her dream wedding in Italy say "nothing will fill the gap" of losing their daughter.

Jennifer Gunning (29) was due to get married in April 2010 but died after being admitted to hospital with a weak left hand and a fast heart rate.

The last words her devastated mum Mary Gunning heard her say were: "I'm dying".

The bride-to-be was due to get married to fiance Daniele Celeghin in Italy on April 24, and was admitted to hospital after complaining of a sudden numbness in her left hand on April 5.



INFUSION

She had been planning the details of her wedding that morning, and her brother David drove her to the hospital because she "did not want a dodgy wedding ring finger".

Dublin County Coroner's Court heard she suffered a drop in blood pressure after being given a heart medication called amiodorone and was rushed to the coronary care unit.

She died following attempts by doctors to shock her heart to a normal rhythm.

Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty recorded a cause of death of heart failure due to acute low blood pressure secondary to an undetermined cause. He said that both the enlargement of her heart and the administration of amiodorone were contributory factors. "We know she collapsed within minutes of getting amiodorone," he said. He recorded a verdict of natural death complicated by amiodorone administration.

The inquest heard that her tests indicated an irregular and fast heart rhythm, which could have been occurring for up to two weeks. She was supplied with a beta blocker medication and was seen by a cardiology registrar four hours after her arrival, at 9.45pm.

Ms Gunning's blood pressure had fallen since her arrival at hospital and she later received amiodorone. And soon after receiving the infusion she complained of abdominal pain, began vomiting and her blood pressure dropped. The infusion was continued and she was rushed to the coronary unit.

Her mother Mary Gunning said that her daughter was initially laughing and joking with her, but when she returned she heard her screaming with pain.

"I heard my daughter's last two words roaring out were 'I'm dying' and that's very hard to live with," her mother said.

The family, in a statement after the verdict, said: "Jennifer had a big personality. We are a very tight family and she is missed terribly by us and her many friends. Nothing can fill the gap that has been created in our lives by the death of our beloved girl. Jennifer was taken from us far to quickly for us to take her death for granted.

"We feel strongly that dignity and respect were missing from the treatment given to her. We hope that this will change."

cmcbride@herald.ie

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