Health and Environment|

Weight-loss gastric bypass woman ‘starved to death’

After her gastric surgery operation went horribly wrong, a 20-stone blind London woman literally starved to death, according to a coroner.

Single mother Kim Blake,33, opted for a gastric bypass operation when she failed to reduce her weight from 20 stone, suffering from severe back pain as a result. The operation took place at London’s Whittington Hospital in Archway last January, but Ms Blake developed complications and finally died last December from bowel obstructions and malnutrition.

At the inquest, coroner Dr Andrew read was told by the hospital there were no complications following the initial operation but Ms Blake had been unable to eat properly, was vomiting and suffered depression and stomach pains. According to the surgeon who performed the procedure, 4 per cent of gastric bypass patients develop malnutrition.

Eventually, Ms Blake was readmitted to Whittington Hospital for further unsuccessful surgery and was subsequently passed on to central London’s University College Hospital for another operation. She died while her UCLH doctors were discussing the possibility of reversing the original surgery.

After the inquest, Ms Blake’s father Jim said his daughter had shrunk to skin and bone by the time she died. He believes the doctors at Whittington don’t know enough about possible complications arising from weight-loss surgery, adding they use people as guinea pigs, with Kim dying as a result.

The official verdict was that Ms Blake had died from surgical and medical complications arising from bariatric surgery. A spokesperson for Whittington Hospital stated patients for weight-loss surgery were made aware that complications might result., with ULCH stating the team did all it could to solve Ms Blake’s ‘complicated set of medical problems’.

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