The hospital patient who died of thirst: Tragedy of cancer sufferer, 22, who was so desperate he phoned 999 to beg for a drink… but staff turned police away saying he was 'fine'
Nurses forgot to give Kane Gorny his medication and he became so delirious he called 999His mother said she spent hours trying to convince staff he needed attention but was told he was alrightAlarm finally raised an hour before his death when a doctor realised how serious his condition was

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UPDATED:

16:09 GMT, 2 July 2012

A desperate hospital patient who died of thirst after he was denied vital medication rang police and begged them to bring him a drink, an inquest heard today.

Kane Gorny, 22, needed drugs to regulate his hormone levels after successfully beating brain cancer months earlier.

But during a further hospital stay nurses forgot to give him his medication and he became so delirious he was forced to call 999 to ask for help.

Kane Gorny

Hospital: Kane Gorny, 22, pictured with his mother Rita, needed drugs to regulate his hormone levels after successfully beating brain cancer. However, during a hospital stay nurses forgot to give him his medication

Officers raced to St George’s Hospital
in Tooting, south London, but were turned away by staff who insisted Mr
Gorny was fine, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard.

He
had been admitted in May 2009 to undergo hip replacement surgery after
his bones were weakened as a side-effect of taking prescribed steroids.

Giving
evidence, Rita Cronin, his mother, said she spent hours trying to
convince staff he needed urgent attention but was repeatedly told he was
alright.

The alarm
was finally raised barely an hour before his death when a doctor on
rounds stepped into his room and realised how serious his condition was.

‘He walked straight in, took one look at him and called to everyone, “Get in here quick!”,’ said Mrs Cronin.

‘That’s
when it dawned on me – he’s not had any medication, no observations, no
fluids, nobody has given him a drink, nobody has done anything from
yesterday.’

Fighting back
tears, she described the moment she was allowed to see Kane’s body after
he was pronounced dead at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, southwest
London, on May 28, 2009.

‘He was lying flat on his back and he had tubes, and there was iodine or something on the bed,’ she said.

‘But he was dead. He was already dead. I felt sick.’

The inquest heard Kane had been prescribed hydrocortisone, a hormone normally produced naturally by the brain.

Rita Cronin

Peter Gorny

Inquest: Rita Cronin, left, and Kane's father Peter Gorny arriving at their son's inquest. Rita told the court she had tried to convince the staff at the hospital her son needed urgent attention but they insisted he was alright

One effect of the medication is to increase the body’s retention of fluids.

Kane, who worked at Waitrose, had been training to become a locksmith and shoe repairer.

He was said to have been athletic and a keen runner until he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in mid-2008.

Medics
managed to get rid of the tumour by putting him through a six-week
course of radiotherapy, followed by hormone therapy because of damage to
his pituitary gland.

Just
weeks after being given the all-clear, Mrs Cronin said she began to
notice he was walking awkwardly, and complained of a pain in his hip.

It
emerged that steroids prescribed as a result of the cancer had weakened
his hips, and arrangements were made for Kane to have hip replacement
surgery.

As he waited for the surgery, his life started to return to normal.

‘He was out and about like everybody else,’ said Mrs Cronin.

‘I
always used to make him take his tablets for the next morning, just in
case he stayed at a friend’s house – and he knew the importance of his
medication. We all did.

‘He was starting to enjoy his life again, even though he had pains in his hip.

‘He
was angry with the fact he had got this condition, and he was upset he
was having a hip replacement – he was worried he would be in a
wheelchair when he was 50.’

After
Kane arrived at St George’s Hospital on May 25, nursing staff refused
to let him administer his own medication, she claimed.

St George's Hospital, Tooting, south London

Help: Police raced to St George's Hospital in Tooting, south London (pictured) but were turned away by staff

‘The nurse said, “Don’t worry, he’s in good hands – we’ll look after him.”’

The inquest heard his operation went well and he lay recuperating in his hospital bed until ringing his mother on the morning of May 27.

‘He was shouting,’ she said. ‘He sounded really, really distressed and said “they won’t get me a drink”.’

During a string of phone calls, Kane became ‘delirious’ and said he had called the police.

His mother later arrived on the ward to find he had pulled down the curtains by his bed, and had been held down by a security guard.

As a result of the outburst, staff moved him to a separate room.

‘I just thought they weren’t doing anything,’ said Mrs Cronin.

‘I thought some of them were out of their depth.

‘If it was me, I would have called for some advice or help if I was out of my depth. I would have expected them to do that, but I don’t think they did.

‘Everyone knew about his previous history because I was telling them non-stop. But nobody mentioned his medication.’

The inquest, expected to last three days, is scheduled to resume next week.