Tessa was screaming in agony when doctors refused her a scan. Six days later she was dead.

An inquest into the death of British care worker and bride-to-be Tessa Harker has heard how she was “on all fours on the floor, screaming in pain” when doctors refused her the vital scan that may have saved her life.

The 21-year-old, who was engaged to be married, died on March 6 last year from a 7cm perforated stomach ulcer which doctors misdiagnosed as a bug, the inquest heard.

Her death came six days after her first visit to the Cumberland Infirmary hospital seeking treatment for stomach pains, according to The Mirror.

The inquest delivered by North Bristol NHS Trust revealed had Tessa recieved at CT scan earlier, the ulcer may have been found and her death prevented.

Although the Cumbrian Coroner, Dr Nicholas Shaw recorded her cause of death as “death by natural causes”, he verified her condition was “exacerbated by delays in treatment”.

“I feel that more should have been done to establish a diagnosis,” he told the inquest.

“I am of the opinion that had Tessa been involved in an attempt to find a firm diagnosis then she would have had a better chance of coming through this than she did.

“I personally feel a more vigorous investigation should have been undertaken.”

Metro reports Miss Harker’s fiance Robert Powley told the inquest he and her family were forced to “watch her in agony” as Tessa was sent home from the hospital twice during the last week of her life.


“She was left half naked in the top she was wearing when she came in. There was no care at all,” he said.

"She was left half naked in the top she was wearing when she came in. There was no care at all." (Image: Facebook)

Despite their concern over Tessa's increased stomach swelling and level of pain, Powley claimed the consultant overseeing Tessa's case, Dr Frank Hinson, ignored the recommendation she should receive a CT scan on the basis that he'd been a doctor for 20 years and didn't want to unnecessarily expose a young woman to radiation.

"At this point we were becoming incredibly frustrated," Powley said.

"He said we were making her out to be more poorly than she was and accused us of overreacting."

The inquest heard when the doctor was asked why he had not checked Tessa's National Early Warning Score (NEWS), a scale used to monitor any changes in a patient's condition, Dr Hinson replied, "I don't know. I can't answer that."

Trust CEO, Stephen Eames extended his "sincere apologies and deepest sympathy" to Tessa's family, recognising her care "fell short of what we would expect".

"Lessons have been learned and a number of actions have been put in place that we believe will further improve patient safety."

In a Facebook post, Tessa's mother issued a warning to anyone watching a loved one struggling with the health care system.

"Dont (sic)let this happen to you. Speak up and challenge anyone about the care of your loved ones."