Mother tells inquest her son's ventilator wasn't working

Daily Echo: Matthew Simmonds Matthew Simmonds

AN INQUEST has heard how a mother walked into her terminally ill son’s room to find that the ventilator he relied on to breathe was no longer working.

Matthew Simmonds, above, died on the evening of July 6, 2011, after being released from hospital to spend his last days quietly at the family home.

But a Winchester inquest was told how, within hours, police were called to the house in Oakmount Road, Chandler’s Ford because he had suddenly died.

A post-mortem concluded that this was because his ventilation had been interrupted.

Mr Simmonds suffered from the rare genetic disorder von Hippel-Lindau disease, causing tumours to develop in his neck and brain and leaving him unable to breathe without a ventilator.

Mrs Simmonds said as a result of the way Matt had died, she had not been able to say goodbye to him.

She told the inquest how she walked into his room and felt something “wasn’t right”.

She said: “I put my hand over the tube from the ventilator and there was nothing coming out of it. I called Nurse Harris.

“There was mild panic and she was at the right hand side of his bed, and something clicked and the air started coming through on the tracheostomy.

“I had a feeling she turned the ventilator on.”

Mrs Simmonds said that she had earlier picked up on an atmosphere between Kadiatu Harris, who had arrived to cover the night shift, and Fauzia Rust, who had been nursing Matt since he’d arrived home.

Proceeding.

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