Mother Of Six Dies Just Days After Gastric Bypass Surgery

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    11th October 2007

    A dedicated mum-of-six who was desperate to lose weight died just days after a gastric bypass operation.
    Annette High, 42, had already lost seven stones after having a gastric band fitted in 2000. But as her weight crept up from 14 stone she decided she needed more drastic action. Despite her family's pleas, Annette decided to have the NHS funded operation, which reduced her stomach and removed part of her bowel.
    She was found collapsed by her husband Gavin just four days later at their home in Hull, East Yorks. She died in hospital on May 12th and a post mortem revealed she had a previously undetected heart defect. She died as a result of heart disease.
    Speaking after the inquest on Wednesday at Hull Coroners Court, Gavin said: "I begged her not to have it. I loved her whatever she was like. It didn't matter about her weight.
    "I warned her people had died having them, but she said people also died from being overweight. I'll never find anyone as good as her. I'll never replace her."

    Research by the University of Washington revealed that one in 50 people die within one month of having the operation.
    The inquest heard that surgery, which Annette hoped would prolong her life, was paid for by the NHS but performed at the private Classic Hospitals Hull and East Riding Hospital.
    The pathologist in the case said the operation could have had an effect on the heart although it was difficult to say 100 per cent.
    In ruling his narative verdict, coroner Geoffrey Saul said: "Surgery can be stressful and stress can trigger abnormal responses in the heart. The pathologist didn't say that's what happened, he said that was possible.
    Annette's family described her death as a "waste of life" and believe she would not have died if she had not had the operation.

    Annette's daughter, Hayley Wilson, 24, spoke about her mum's battle to shed the pounds after recovering from a rare form of cervical cancer in 1999.
    She said: "We both joined Slimming World together. Mum lost about four stone on her own." She decided she needed more help and in 2000 she opted for a gastric band.
    It proved successful, helping her bring her weight down further to about 14 stone but it was keeping the weight off long-term that proved her biggest challenge.
    Despite her weight, she tried to keep fit by gardening, walking, swimming and going to the gym but her size began to affect her joints. It was this that convinced Annette to opt for the surgery she believed would improve her life. Gavin has been left to care for their four youngest children, Ellesse, seven, Leonard, 13, Kelsey, 14, and Ria, 15, whom the couple adopted, alone.
  2. That's terrible.
  3. That's very sad. I have a friend that had GB and I begged her not to. The risks aren't worth it. The best way to lose weight is discipline; one has to watch their diet and exercise. My friend has 3 kids and luckily she's fine. Problem is too many people want to choose the path of least resistance instead of what's best for the body.
  4. Oh gosh, this looks like a topic ripe to start a debate on the pros/cons of Weight loss surgery. Are we allowed to talk about WLS on this forum?

    The risks may not seem "worth it" to lots of people...just like the risks of plastic surgery or any other "elective" surgery. To me, it's one of those things that you need to go into with your eyes wide open and know the big picture of the risks/benefits.
  5. Heartbreaking...poor father and children :sad:
  6. Any person that has surgery has to sign a huge array of papers stating that you know something can go wrong. When I had my shoulder surgery, which was a must, the papers I had to sign were actually much more scary than the surgery itself.

    It is really too bad.
  8. Wow, people do not realize how dangerous and life threating these surgeries can be...
  9. The sad thing is, she lost weight with the first procedure, if only she'd tackled wht was making her gain weight again... :sad:

    It's too late for coulda soulda woulda but I hope if makes people think twicee before electing to have weight loss surgery. Weight loss isn't easy (physically or pyschologically) but it can be done.
  10. Oh how horrible! My heart breaks for her family, esp 6 kids!!
  11. yes, it;'s so sad. She was most certainly thinking of them when she opted for the surgery :cry:
  12. "I begged her not to have it. I loved her whatever she was like. It didn't matter about her weight."

    I feel sad reading this bit, it's not like she was having the GB coz her husband was pressuring her for her looks. Her husband didn't have a problem with how much she weigh. What a waste of life.
  13. If she had an undiagnosed heart defect, then any surgery may have created the same outcome for her. It's too bad the doctors were not able to diagnose it before this happened.
  14. This is so sad and my sympathies go out to her husband and children. I have read another thread on tpf concerning another member who has also been through a lot with having a gastric band.
  15. My BF had a GB in july, to begin with i was dead against it, i'm a nurse and spend my days telling people how to lose weight sensibly, however when it became apparent he just simply didn't have the will power he went ahead, he was border line diabetic, hypertensive and he had sleep apnoea, he is 29 yrs old! he has now lost 6 stone and is fine, i know its not for everyone but not everyone can do it through disipline.