Retired pottery worker dies after testing positive for coronavirus at Royal Stoke



Retired pottery worker Philip Pickthorne contracted coronavirus and died after falling in the bedroom of his home.

The 87-year-old was living independently in Viscount Walk, Meir, before he fractured his hip and was admitted to the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

He was admitted on November 23 and underwent surgery the following day. He was then found to be anaemic and required a blood transfusion.

An inquest heard that Mr Pickthorne then tested positive for coronavirus 13 days later on December 6.

He developed right-sided pneumonia and was treated with antibiotics and dexamethasone.

Sadly, he continued to deteriorate and his oxygen requirements increased considerably. He passed away on December 18.

In a statement, Mr Pickthorne’s daughter-in-law, Maria Pickthorne, said: “He was employed as a coal miner for 14 years. After that, he worked at Michelin and was a truck driver for a while.

“He then gained employment at a potbank as a ceramic operative and worked as a slipper in the slip house. He retired when he was 65.

“He smoked a pipe daily, but did not drink. His mobility was good for his age. He was a type 2 diabetic, he had prostate cancer in 2017, ischemic heart disease and was diagnosed with stage four chronic kidney disease in 2019. He enjoyed relatively good health for many years.

“He was in bed at about 9.30am on November 23 and heard a knock on the door. It was his chemist dropping off his prescription.

“He got out of bed in a rush – we aren’t sure whether he tripped, fell over or lost his balance. He fell in the bedroom. He has a lifeline. He contacted them and they called for an ambulance.

“They attended and he was admitted to Royal Stoke University Hospital. He was diagnosed with a fracture of his left neck of femur.

“On November 24, he had surgery. He required a blood transfusion as he was found to be anaemic. On December 6, he tested positive for Covid-19.

“Despite additional medical intervention, he continued to deteriorate and passed away.”

Royal Stoke clinician Dr Annamaria Mihalache said Mr Pickthorne was not suitable for escalation to intensive care.

A cause of death was provided as Covid-19-related pneumonia, with a fractured left neck of femur (operated), type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease contributing to the death.  

North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley concluded that Mr Pickthorne’s death was due to complications of a fall.

He said: “Rushing to answer the door, he suffered a fall and it is not known whether he tripped, fell over or lost his balance.

“He sustained a fracture to his left neck of femur. He had no significant history of falls and nothing more to explain what happened on the 23rd.

“He was taken to the Royal Stoke where the fracture was identified. Surgery followed on the 24th. There were delays in his recovery due to a blood transfusion as he was found to be anaemic.

“He failed to improve and contracted Covid-19 during his period of recuperation. He continued to deteriorate, requiring more and more oxygen and passed away on December 18.”





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