Millionaire grandfather, 76, died from infection caught from dirty needle in French hospital after falling ill on skiing holiday
David Foster, 76, was admitted to Annecy Hospital
He was flown back to England eleven days later
Mr Foster died from massive internal bleeding
Was first time he'd been away with his grandchildren
5 January 2013
A millionaire's 'perfect' family holiday ended when he contracted a lethal infection from dirty equipment in a French hospital, an inquest heard.
Retired company director David Foster, 76, was admitted to Annecy Hospital near Geneva after being overcome by pain while skiing with his family in March last year.
He was flown back to England eleven days later, but died when the bug he picked up on the ward ruptured his heart and caused massive internal bleeding.
His son Nicholas told Southwark Coroner's Court it was the first time his father had been away with his grandchildren.
Consultant vascular surgeon Matthew Waltham, who treated Mr Foster at St Thomas' Hospital, central London, said the infection happened when an unclean drip was inserted in his arm in France.
He said: 'It certainly looked then like the infection was caused by the cannula and it still looks like that now.
'I believe the cannula was put in during his stay at the hospital in France. The specimen was labelled in French.'
Mr Foster was initially taken to hospital when he complained of pain which felt like 'a hot rod passing through his back'. After more than a week of treatment in France his family arranged for him to be flown back to England.
He was admitted to St Thomas' on March 24, and was found to be suffering from an aortic dissection, a serious condition involving a small tear in the heart.
Annecy Hospital near Geneva, where Mr Foster was administered the jab
Scans also revealed he was may have been suffering from a tumour, of which he had no knowledge of before falling ill. Mr Foster underwent an operation on March 30, which failed to relieve his pain, and he died on April 4.
Mr Waltham said: 'I understand he got up in the morning, and had some breakfast and seemed to be much better.
'He was being washed by the nurses when he had a sudden cardiac arrest. Support was called for, but attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.'
The former home of David Foster who died after contracting an infection from a French hospital whilst on holiday
A post-mortem conducted by Dr Catherine Horsefield found death was due to a haemorrhage caused by rupture of the aortic wall, with evidence of sepsis caused by osteomyelitis infection.
The presence of the tumour was not a cause of death.
Mr Foster, of Fulham, west London, had been on holiday with his son Nicholas, his wife Shelia and two grandchildren aged two and five.
Nicholas told the court: 'We were on holiday with my wife, our two young children and my mother. It had been a pefect holiday.
'We had been in France for five days when he first complained of being pain. He'd had back pain before, but this was different, he described it as a hot rod going through his shoulder blades.
'We took him to hospital where they made a decision to treat him conservatively. During an eight day period he remained in a lot of pain, he was on morphine to cover it.'
Recording a narrative verdict Deputy Coroner Lorna Tagliavini said: 'After a successful operation to graft a thoracic stent the deceased died of natural causes caused by an infection and contributed to by a previously undetected metastatic cancer.'