Murchadh 2012-04-08 03:12:24
Family not told coma Briton lay dying in France
By Stewart Payne
(Filed: 16/08/2003) Telegraph
A widow demanded an explanation from French medical authorities
yesterday after her husband lay dying in a hospital for nine days
without her knowledge.
Lucienne Lee was not told 79-year-old Maurice had suffered a stroke
while holidaying alone and was in a coma in an intensive care ward.
Mrs Lee became concerned when her husband, a retired civil engineer
whom she called Mat, failed to return from his annual holiday. She
rang hotels where he had booked rooms and found he had not checked in.
She contacted her local police station who found that Mr Lee was in a
hospital in Montpelier. Mrs Lee, 55, from Epsom, Surrey, and her
children, Danielle, 27, and Jonathan, 23, were given a police escort
to Gatwick to catch the next available flight to France.
Mr Lee died four days later without regaining consciousness.
Now Mrs Lee, a teacher, is demanding to know why the hospital failed
to inform her, even though her husband was carrying contact details in
The only explanation she has been given so far is that it was her
family’s responsibility to keep in contact.
But she said: “How could I keep in contact with my husband when he was
in a deep coma 100 miles away from where he was holidaying?
“The French authorities didn’t take any steps to find out who he was.
“It was an appalling bureaucratic nightmare and a very harrowing
experience. If you’re going to have a stroke, don’t do it in France.”
Her husband, who had travelled widely with his job, did not have a
mobile phone but had left details of his itinerary.
She praised British police, saying: “They were brilliant. They phoned
Interpol, checked with missing persons and contacted the Foreign
Office in London. If a little police station like Epsom can do this,
then why couldn’t the French authorities?
“When we arrived in Montpelier, I asked a female doctor why nine days
had elapsed between Mat’s admittance and my finding out. She just
shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyeballs at me.
“We just want an answer to one question: why were we in the dark for
nine days as Mat lay dying?”
Mr Lee was cremated in France two weeks ago and his family is now
planning a memorial service.
Mrs Lee said she and her children were able to visit her husband for
just one hour a day in the French hospital. “It all came as a dreadful
Her husband “loved France and he explored a different region each year
by car, as he loved driving.
“The French are so casual about these things. Without doubt,
medically, they looked after my husband superbly. But if it had
happened in Britain, we would have used our common sense and not been
slaves to red tape like the French.”
Ian smith 2012-04-09 18:32:11
I fear we haven’t heard the last of this kind of thing.
After all, this is from a country which would let 3000 people
die of heat stroke before acknowledging that there was a
Ian smith 2012-04-11 08:52:41
Aye, and it’s amazing how low some of those creeps will
stoop. Then the rest of us usually suffer from blanket
draconian, freedom-restricting laws to deal with them.
Murchadh 2012-04-11 08:53:14
What I find fascinating is the tribal hatred of child molesters. Yet
another one in the US, who has been physically castrated, etc., is
being refused a home in a town because the inhabitants won’t have him
there at any price. This is a category of offender that the public
will kill if it gets the chance – much more loathed than murderers or
My own reaction to the news of a child’s deatrh at the hands of a
pervert is blind rage.
Rick 2012-04-12 03:51:44
Muchadh: Scratch from the list for the firing squad…