North Staffordshire great-grandad dies on post-lockdown holiday in Portugal


A retired couple’s holiday in Portugal turned to tragedy after one of them fell gravely ill and died in hospital.

Great-grandfather David Griffiths had been enjoying a post-lockdown break with wife Linda when he began feeling unwell.

The 70-year-old, from Cottonwood Grove, Harriseahead, started struggling to breathe and was taken to Faro Hospital.

An inquest heard he had a CT scan which revealed his lungs were extensively scarred. David’s condition deteriorated and he was placed in an induced coma on a ventilator.

He died on September 22 and his body was repatriated to Britain.

Doctors in Portugal put his cause of death down to sepsis and septic shock due to community-acquired pneumonia, with ischemic cardiomyopathy and occupational lung disease contributory factors.

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Daughter-in-law Alison Griffiths said David had previously been employed as a sheet metal worker and fabricator.

“He went on to work for several engineering firms in Stoke-on-Trent,” she said in a statement.

It involved installing ducting in various factories, including potbanks and brickworks. This often entailed crawling into roof spaces, where he could have been exposed to asbestos.

David had to take early retirement at the age of 33 after he broke his back in an accident.

But according to GP records, there were no reports of him experiencing any respiratory issues which may been linked to his previous occupation.

The couple had flown to Portugal on September 7.

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Alison added: “We had a call that David was feeling unwell. Having walked only a short distance, he was sweating profusely. The next day, he didn’t leave the apartment all day.

“On September 9, Linda called an ambulance because David was struggling to breathe. He went to hospital and was admitted to the intensive care unit.”

North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley highlighted how hospital staff had identified industrial lung disease as a contributory factor. He recorded a conclusion of death by industrial disease.





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