A GRIEVING widow said she felt ‘let down’ by doctors who refused to fit her terminally ill husband with a pacemaker she believes would have prolonged his life.

Joan Sharples, 63, from Darwen, said medics were ‘wrong’ to deny her husband, Bob, the device.

Mr Sharples, 74, developed a serious heart condition after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in August last year, and was told he would need a pacemaker fitted in January.

But his discharge notes from Royal Blackburn Hospital, seen by the Lancashire Telegraph, said the cardiology team decided not to proceed, because of his poor cancer prognosis and a lack of symptoms from the heart condition.

His cause of death was registered as a malignant neoplasm of the oesophagus, the technical term for the cancer, and type two diabetes.
However, Mrs Sharples said her husband was suffering badly with his heart condition in his final months.

The Dorset Avenue resident said: “Bob’s heart was all over the place, going fast and then slow so much that the nurses often couldn’t measure his pulse.

“He was just incredibly weak, sleeping most of the time and struggling to move. It was his heart that was the problem.

“I think it was wrong not to have given him one (a pacemaker). It would have given him more time, and I feel like Bob was badly let down.”

Mr Sharples, who had been in respite at Birch Hall Care Centre in Darwen for six weeks, died with his wife by his bedside last Thursday.

The retired electrician, who did voluntary work with the disabled and as a police ‘special’ for 25 years, was a ‘kind and gentle man’, his widow said.

She added: “He really loved me and I’m going to miss him.”

Mr Sharples leaves his children Carol, Mark and Gary, grandchildren Crystal, Adam, Mark, Sarah, Jack, Luke, Patrick and Ellie, and great grandchildren Dillan, Connor, Ayla, Robert and Charlie.

A spokeswoman for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust declined to comment, for ‘reasons of patient confidentiality’, adding: “We offer our condolences to Mrs Sharples at this sad time.

“The Trust met with Mr Sharples and his family regarding his treatment prior to his death.”

A funeral will be held at Pleasington Crematorium, in Tower Road, Blackburn, tomorrow morning. Family flowers only and any donations should be made to Cancer Research UK.