How a broken ankle led to death of a ‘fantastic’ wife

Christopher Dunning on holiday with his wife Sheila Dunning, who died of deep vein thrombosis after breaking her ankle.
Christopher Dunning on holiday with his wife Sheila Dunning, who died of deep vein thrombosis after breaking her ankle.
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A GRANDMOTHER died after a broken ankle led to deep-vein thrombosis.

Shirley Dunning, of Queensbury, suffered a pulmonary embolism after developing a blood clot in her left calf, an inquest heard.

The 56-year-old, who was married with two children, two step-children and several grandchildren, was described by her family as “a fantastic woman”.

They said she was funny and loved working and socialising. Her husband, Christopher, said they used to be regulars at The Dolphin in Queensbury but the pub has changed forever for him since Mrs Dunning died.

“It’s not the same now,” he said.

“We never fell out. We used to bounce off each other.”

The inquest heard that Mrs Dunning, a shop assistant at the Co-op in Queensbury, went to Calderdale Royal Hospital after falling down stairs at home last August.

An X-ray showed she had chipped a bone in her ankle, and she was put in a cast up to her knee.

A further visit to the hospital showed she had broken her ankle, and she was given a second cast.

On the evening of September 5, she complained of pain in her abdomen and chest, and was breathless.

Her husband said she told him: “I think my time is up.”

She was taken to Calderdale Royal Hospital where she died in the early hours of the next day.

A post mortem showed Mrs Dunning had suffered a pulmonary embolism – a blockage in one of the blood vessels in the lungs.

The inquest heard she had previously suffered from hypertension and had been advised to lose weight because she was at risk of developing diabetes.

Her family asked if there was anything she could have done to prevent the complication but were told no.

Coroner Roger Whittaker described Mrs Dunning’s death as “a sad case” and said the pulmonary embolism had arisen from her immobility caused by the broken ankle.

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.