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Alex Lockyer inquest: Guildford dad ‘could have survived’ if he’d undergone emergency procedure, coroner concludes

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Father-of-two Alex Lockyer, 45, collapsed at his daughter’s prom and died a week later at home after being discharged from hospital
A father-of-two “could have survived” if he had undergone an emergency medical procedure, a coroner has concluded

Alex Lockyer, 45, from Guildford, suffered a tear in a major blood vessel, which led to his tragic death at his family home on May 20.

Coroner Anna Crawford brought Mr Lockyer’s inquest at Woking Coroner’s Court to a conclusion this week, detailing a timeline of the events that led up to Mr Lockyer’s death.

The inquest heard how Mr Lockyer suffered a “tear in his aorta”, the main artery in the human body that carries blood away from the heart.

Symptoms include a tearing or ripping pain in the chest, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, weakness or fainting, which Mr Lockyer had been partially suffering from.

Ms Crawford confirmed Mr Lockyer “underwent a number of different observations” when he was visiting Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH).

The coroner added “he was not investigated by way of a CT scan”, which at previous hearings was heard to be an effective way of detecting an aortic dissection with a 70% success rate.

Guildford dad died from undiagnosed cardiac condition week after hospital discharge
Professor Robin Choudhury, commissioned by the Royal Surrey to produce a clinical report, stated: “He would have survived long enough to have the surgery.”

Ms Crawford concluded: “A CT scan would, on the balance of probabilities, [have] identified the dissecting aorta, which would have led to Mr Lockyer getting an emergency aorta root repair.

“A procedure, on the balance of probabilities, he would have survived.”
Mr Lockyer’s chest pains began after he collapsed while filming his daughter at her school prom.

After his initial “episode”, he was taken to RSCH where he was discharged a day later. This was despite concerns raised over the family’s history of heart-related illnesses.

He then visited his GP practice Dapdune House Surgery three times with continued chest pains throughout the week.

He collapsed, again at his family home, and despite his wife, Sara, 44, calling an ambulance and beginning CPR, he tragically passed away.

He explained that Mr Lockyer could have had Marfan syndrome “due to his height and long fingers” as mentioned in the pathologist report.

Marfan is a disorder of the body’s connective tissues which maintain the structure of the body and support internal organs.

Characteristics of the syndrome are abnormally long and slender limbs and heart defects.

When Dr Moncrieff was asked if he would have considered this in Mr Lockyer’s case and he said: “Report says it is possible. 6ft 4in is unusually tall it would alert me to the possibility I must say.

He continued that he would “like to think he would have given it a fleeting thought” and mentioned he had “diagnosed this syndrome before”.

Dr Moncrieff maintained that “Marfan syndrome is a rare disease that could be diagnosed more” throughout the UK.

The inquest heard earlier on Wednesday (September 6) Dr Anna Christine Williams and Dr Ian Foster Cunliffe had reassured the family “all was well despite his pain”.

However, while giving evidence during the inquest they were questioned by the family’s lawyer Gurion Taussig, of Irwin Mitchell, over the discharge summary of Mr Lockyer’s attendance at RSCH.

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This was due to the fact the hospital had discharged him ruling out any serious problems with the heart with further tests booked.

And after the family asked if there was anything more Mrs Lockyer could have done to help her husband, he said: “I don’t think there is anything more she could have done. I think she did everything she could.”

The inquest continues

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