Norwich pensioner died seven weeks after falling from a boat during Turkey holiday

The coroner's court in Thorpe Road, Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley The coroner's court in Thorpe Road, Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Thursday, March 20, 2014
10:04 AM

A pensioner died at home seven weeks after suffering severe injuries when he fell from a boat during a holiday in Turkey.

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Alan Prest lost his footing when boarding a taxi boat in Icmeler harbour last September, and fell about six feet on to the rocky coastline below.

A letter from his widow Carol, read at yesterday’s inquest at Norfolk Coroner’s Court, said they had flown to Turkey for a three-week holiday with friends on September 6 last year.

The accident happened on September 24, three days before they were due to fly back.

Mrs Prest’s letter said her husband’s face was submerged in a rock pool, and he suffered a substantial loss of blood. She said a nearby paramedic gave him initial treatment, and an ambulance arrived quickly.

He regained consciousness in the ambulance, and doctors at the hospital said an operation was not advisable at that time, and there were no signs of brain damage.

Mr Prest spent 14 days in the Turkish hospital, before being flown back to Stansted, where he was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. He was discharged on October 11, with medication and arrangements for support at home.

Mrs Prest said he was unable to climb the stairs in their Kirkpatrick Road home, was in great pain, and had to sleep on a sofa downstairs.

Dr Emmy Blunt, of the Woodcock Road Surgery, visited Mr Prest at his home on October 14, and again on October 21 when his pain increased.

Mrs Prest said she noticed a change in her husband’s demeanour in late October, when he was getting depressed about not being able to move, and on the night of November 10 he suffered a suspected panic attack, and Dr Blunt prescribed anti-depressant medication.

Mrs Prest said he suffered another likely panic attack on the night of November 12, when his son helped to calm him, and called Dr Blunt the following day, who came to their home and had a long conversation with him.

However, Mrs Prest said that shortly after the visit he said he felt unwell, and suddenly slumped back and passed away.

A post-mortem found he suffered a pulmonary thromboembolism, which was likely to be a late complication or after-effect of the accident in Turkey. He had previously suffered a deep vein thrombosis in 2011.

Speaking of her last visit, Dr Blunt said: “I have no recollection of any features that would have led me to suggest he would go on to have a pulmonary embolism.”

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Jacqueline Lake said: “Mr Prest had an accidental fall on September 24, 2013, when he suffered severe injuries which led to a pulmonary thromboembolism event from which he died on November 13, 2013.”

After the inquest, Mrs Prest thanked Dr Blunt, and gave her a hug.

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