A FATHER who was described as a ‘gentle giant’ died after an operation at Hereford County Hospital.

Richard Hargreaves De Meester was a furniture restorer from Knighton.

The 55-year-old had cancer and died on October 21 after a hospital operation.


“He adored his job and was really at the top of his game,” said his wife Susan De Meester.

“He was an optimist and free spirited, he liked to make people laugh.

The inquest heard that Mr Meester had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

He went into hospital for an initial operation on October 11 and had a stoma fitted.

Five days later Mr Meester was described as in ‘chronic pain’.

The following day he was operated on but his condition deteriorated and he died on October 21.

After criticism from Mrs Meester about the communication during her husband’s stay, hospital consultant Dr Chokkalingam Aran said that needed to improve.

“I certainly wasn’t told of the separated stoma and in hindsight we would have decided if something needed to be done immediately,” said Mr Aran.

“That way we may have prevented this.”

Herefordshire coroner Mark Bricknell recorded a narrative conclusion.

“Mr Meester suffered rectal cancer and underwent and operation after his stoma had retracted," said Mr Bricknell.

“Subsequent surgery was required. His condition deteriorated.”

The cause of death was multiple organ failure from sepsis.