Family of woman who died after surgery in Turkey 'to pursue legal action' in search for truth

Khelisyah Ashamu

Khelisyah Ashamu, 26, died in 2019 after flying to Turkey for a gastric bypass operation - Credit: The Ashamu family

The parents of a Dagenham woman who died after an operation in Turkey are planning further legal action over her death.

A coroner ruled on Friday (January 21), that Khelisyah Ashamu died “as a result of complications of a surgical procedure”.

The 26-year-old had flown to Turkey in 2019 for a gastric bypass on February 1 of that year.

Khelisyah suffered a cardiac arrest on February 3 and remained in a coma until her death on February 9.

However, coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said it remained “unclear” what exactly had caused Khelisyah’s death.

More than a kilogramme of blood was found in her stomach after her death, but Dr Radcliffe said there was no way of knowing how long it had been there.

A statement issued by legal firm Irwin Mitchell said the family would be using the courts to seek further answers.

“The coroner was unable to determine the exact cause of the cardiac arrest that ultimately led to Khelisyah’s death,” said Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, a partner at the firm.

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“We will continue to investigate these issues with relevant medical experts as part of the civil litigation process.”

People chose to go to Turkey for these operations because UK patients face long NHS waiting lists or extremely high costs for going private, Khelisyah's inquest heard.

In a statement, her parents said: “Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare and we never imagined when we saw Khelisyah travel to Turkey for what we thought was a routine operation that we would never see her alive again.

“She was an amazing young woman with a great career, a young son and everything to live for.

"Three years on, it’s still hard to accept she will never walk through the door, or the son who she loved so much will not have a chance to know his wonderful mum.

“Our grandson is a living reminder of his mum, which brings us so much comfort, but it’s devastating that he will not remember his mum because he was only 11 months old when she left and never came back.

“Having to go through the inquest was awful, but necessary to investigate what happened.

"We will continue to work with our lawyers to try and get to the truth of how our beautiful daughter died.”

The inquest heard that investigations in Turkey had found no evidence of any faults in Khelisyah’s treatment.

For more, read:

Young mother died after flying to Turkey for gastric bypass surgery, inquest hears