Brother of Dagenham mum Maria De Jesus speaks of family’s devastation
- Credit: Archant
The brother of a pregnant mum who died after doctors removed an ovary instead of her appendix has told of the family’s devastation.
Mother-of-three, Maria De Jesus miscarried and died on the operating table two weeks after two unsupervised trainee surgeons carried out the botched surgery at Queen’s Hospital, as she underwent a second operation to finally remove the appendix.
An inquest at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court earlier this month found her death on November 11 2011 was caused by multiple organ failure due to severe infection brought on by the two operations.
Her brother Joao Caldeira said the family could receive in “all the money in the world [in compensation] but they will never give back the smile on my mum’s face” after the death of her daughter.
He added: “They will never again give me the breakfast, the dinner, the lunch and the days spent in the park with my sister and they will never give back the kisses that Maria gave to her boys and girl at night time.”
“It has been 19 months of tears of nights crying of a lost smile, but we will never forget her.”
Maria’s husband Adelino De Jesus, 53, told a London newspaper about the “litany of errors” which lead to his wife’s death.
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He said: “She went to hospital with stomach pains and we were told she needed to have her appendix out. She had the operation, and left hospital eight days later, but the pain continued. We wouldn’t have ever imagined what they had done.”
Mr De Jesus now plans to sue the hospital.
The inquest heard that the trainee surgeons, in the absence of a consultant surgeon, removed the ovary because they believed it was her appendix.
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCOG) said that they would always recommend “that trainees are supervised in all cases.”
Clare Marx, consultant surgeon and lead for patient safety, said: “Each case should be discussed with the consultant supervisor prior to surgery whose responsibility it is to assess that the trainee has the required level of expertise and experience to perform the operation to a high standard.”
Mrs De Jesus and her husband moved from Portugal to England in 2006. She worked as a teaching assistant at Scotts Primary School in Hornchurch and was the sole breadwinner of the family.
Headteacher Simon Abeledo, said: “Our whole school community was devastated by the tragic loss of Maria. She was a much loved member of staff.”