A GRANDFATHER from Oswaldtwistle has died after suffering a catalogue of complications following keyhole surgery, an inquest heard.

David Ross, 67, a retired van driver who lived in Birch Crescent, underwent an operation to remove cancerous tumours from his colon at Royal Blackburn Hospital on April 30 last year.

Blackburn Coroner’s Court heard that just a few weeks after being discharged, the father-of-one was taken back into hospital suffering from septecaemia and e-coli, which caused his wound to rupture.

Mr Ross then underwent two further five-hour operations on June 4 and 6, but during the second medical procedure his kidneys failed, he suffered a cardiac arrest and a hypoxic brain injury, caused when the brain was starved of oxygen.

His wife of 45 years, Joan, and the couple’s daughter, Jennifer, were represented at the inquest into his death.

Coroner Michael Singleton said: “It is difficult to see how the outcome could have been any worse than the one Mr Ross had.

“I’m told that had Mr Ross not had the surgery, his life expectancy would have been no more than three years, so it was perfectly proper to have taken the surgery route.

“The risk of mortality is somewhere between three and four per cent, but it is no comfort to Mrs Ross, or indeed Mr Ross himself, that he came under that three per cent.

“For the family, this is a one hundred per cent loss.”

He told the family: “I cannot begin to imagine how you are feeling, and I thank you for helping with these proceedings.”

Mr Singleton recorded a narrative verdict in which he concluded that Mr Ross sustained a rare but recognised complication of appropriate surgery.

After the hearing, a spokesman for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We offer our sincere condolences to Mr Ross’ family for their sad loss.”

Specialist medical and patient’s rights lawyer Sharon Williams, representing the Ross family, said: “It has been a very difficult seven months for Joan and Jennifer as they have struggled to come to terms with the fact their loving husband and father has gone.

“They are understandably devastated but we will continue to work with the family in their battle for answers in the coming weeks.”