When 37-year-old Kenny Oldroyd was rushed by ambulance to his local casualty department complaining of severe breathing problems he was told it was nothing more than a panic attack.
At 1pm the next day, less than 24 hours later, he suffered a massive heart attack brought on by his condition and died.
“He was a larger than life personality and could light up a room with his presence,” says Kenny’s sister Karen , 40, from Scarborough. “You could never be sad for long when Kenny was around. His death has left us all completely devastated.”
K enny left a daughter, Shona (9) and a son Kody(2). He had been in near perfect health when he began to complain of difficulty breathing. Then on a Sunday morning his partner Claire, Kody’s mother, awoke to find him fiddling with the DVD player in the bedroom.
“His speech was all jumbled up,” explains Claire, 35. “I couldn’t make out what he was saying and I told him he wasn’t making any sense. For example he later told his dad the time was ‘half past a quarter past’.”
When Kenny saw an out-of-hours GP his speech had returned to normal and he was sent home. However within a few days he was back again feeling worse than ever. This time he was told the tightness in his chest was a panic attack and he was given drugs to control it.
Less than 24 hours later he was rushed to hospital where doctors realised sepsis was causing his major organs to shut down. It was too late to save him and Kenny died the next day. It later transpired he had undiagnosed pneumonia which led to the sepsis.
“I know now that Kenny’s confusion was a sign of sepsis,” says Claire. “We still have no idea what triggered the pneumonia. Three weeks before he died Kenny was in perfect health but it just spiralled out of control too fast.