Mum dies after freak incident with goose as heartbroken family seek answers

Vanessa Harrison, who used a mobility scooter, was visiting East Park with her dog when a low-flying goose made her lurch backwards in her seat to avoid being hit

The family of Hull woman Vanessa are still looking for answers almost three years after her death
The family of Hull mum Vanessa Harrison are still looking for answers

The family of a woman who died in cardiac arrest following a freak incident involving a goose in a park, have been searching for answers for more than three years.

Vanessa Harrison, who used a mobility scooter, was visiting East Park, in Hull, with her dog when a low-flying goose made her lurch backwards in her seat, to avoid being hit.

The 51-year-old disabled mum went into shock after feeling a sudden ripping pain in her chest, Hull Live reports.

She managed to return home where she later called the NHS 111 number, summoning an ambulance which rushed her into hospital.

Vanessa was then discharged in the early hours of the following morning, being advised to take painkillers.

After what her parents claim was a series of failures, Vanessa was found lifeless and in cardiac arrest later that same day, her son’s attempts to administer CPR being in vain.

The incident in the park occurred on Saturday, February 9, 2019, and Vanessa tragically died of an aortic aneurysm rupture/dissection the following day.

Vanessa was found lifeless in cardiac arrest the same day she was discharged from hospital


Hull Daily Mail / MEN Media)

Her parents, who want to remain anonymous, have been struggling to come to terms with Vanessa’s loss ever since and are still trying to piece together exactly what happened in the hours before her death.

Her father told Hull Live of how he and Vanessa’s friends needed to know what happened to her.

His own investigations into the events leading up to his daughter’s death have shown that although a priority one emergency ambulance was dispatched, it took 19 minutes from the time of her call to arrive at her home because the service was “busy”.

Vanessa’s father said the ambulance crew failed to take her blood pressure and his daughter’s reports of her symptoms, including pain and tenderness in her chest, headache and a painful shoulder, as well as being unable to move her neck and pain on swallowing, did not prompt the correct responses at the Hull A&E department.

“She was prescribed morphine and abandoned for two and a half hours,” her father said. “The hospital trust said she was left while the morphine worked.

“A rumour started that she had had a little jolt after being spooked by a goose and the plan was analgesia.”

A serious incident report revealed that blood tests were requested but later cancelled, according to Vanessa’s father.

“A junior doctor carried out an ECG at about 1.35am and marked it abnormal/ myocardial ischaemia. Vanessa questioned the result and was told there was something wrong with her heart.”

Vanessa was discharged with a chest muscular injury, just over an hour later.

“She rang her mother in the afternoon, asking us if we could take her some painkillers – the nurse who discharged her said she would have to buy her own, at 2.36am on a Sunday morning in February.

“We bought some and set off to go into Hull. We found her lifeless and in cardiac arrest. Her own son had to do CPR and call an ambulance, which was there in less than three minutes, but of course it was too late.”

Vanessa’s father said she used a mobility scooter because of having a large open hernia in the side of her stomach, five other hernias and an ileostomy. She was also bipolar.

“There was nothing wrong with her heart, she didn’t have high or low blood pressure or anything like that,” he said. “Why didn’t the ambulance crew tell A&E what my daughter had and what she was going in for?

“Someone at the hospital had the audacity to insinuate my daughter went home and something else happened to her, that she had another accident that was the cause of this.

“This is about the truth and I still don’t know what that is.”

A spokeswoman for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We extend our sympathies to the family of Ms Harrison and are sorry they remain unhappy with the care she received.

“We carried out an investigation following Ms Harrison’s death in 2019 and shared the findings of the investigations panel with her family.

“While we cannot discuss individual cases because of patient confidentiality, we would be happy to discuss the results of the investigation further with Ms Harrison’s family.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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