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Why didn’t wife and mother get ‘miracle’ stroke treatment, grieving family ask

A primary school teaching assistant died from a stroke after hospital staff told her family that the life-saving treatment she needed was not available at weekends.

Jasbir Pahal, 44, who had four children and was known as Jas, died in November last year after suffering a stroke. Her family was told she could only be treated with aspirin because a procedure to remove the blood clot was only available from 8am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.

It has now emerged that the life-saving treatment, called mechanical thrombectomy, was available at an NHS hospital trust just a 40-minute drive away from the Calderdale Royal hospital in Halifax where she was being treated, but there were no arrangements for such transfers.

Jasbir’s husband, Satinder Pahal, 49, said: “We have paid the ultimate price for this deficient service. Despite our pleas to save Jas’s life, all they could do was to give her an aspirin.

“My wife was a vegetarian, never drank alcohol or smoked. She was fit and healthy and she wasn’t given the chance to survive. Jas was the centre of our worlds and her loss will impact us for ever.” The family are calling for urgent action to prevent future deaths."

The Observer reported last month of warnings by the Stroke Association charity and clinicians about the regional variations in access to mechanical thrombectomy. It has been described as a “miracle” treatment, with some patients who were at risk of death or permanent disability walking out of hospital the day after the procedure.

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Source: The Guardian, 15 October 2023


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