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A well-respected dental surgeon in Furness suffered a ‘catastrophic’ head injury after falling down the stairs, an inquest has heard.
Gordon Thistlethwaite, who ran a dental practice in Ulverston for much of his long career as a dentist, died on May 19 following an accident at his home in Ireleth, Askam.
The 79-year-old was described as ‘highly respected’ and a ‘dedicated professional’ by his 28-year-old wife Louise at an inquest at Cockermouth Coroners Court yesterday.
Gordon and Louise Thistlethwaite (Image: Submitted)
Paramedics attended the couple’s home in Ireleth just after 1am following a report that a man was unconscious and not breathing after falling down the stairs, the court heard.
Ms Thistlethwaite told paramedics she was about to lay down when she heard a loud noise and found her husband lying on the ground.
Paramedics said Mr Thistlethwaite was ‘completely unresponsive’ and his blood pressure was extremely high, indicating a serious head injury.
Mr Thistlethwaite was taken to Furness General Hospital ‘critically ill’ with a ‘catastrophic head injury’.
Mrs Thistlethwaite was told her husband was unlikely to recover and prepare for the worst outcome.
Mr Thistlethwaite tragically died in the emergency room at 2am from a subdural hematoma.
Ms Thistlethwaite described her husband’s death as a “terrible shock” to those close to him.
She said: “It was a terrible shock to the many people – family, friends and former staff – who loved Gordon so much. He was a wonderful person, very young at heart, and we miss him very much.
“It was completely shocking. He was a very healthy and fit man who was much younger than his age. We had a vacation planned at the time. It was totally out of the blue.
She also thanked the paramedics and hospital team who helped the family at “such a terrible time”.
She said: ‘My thanks go to the paramedics and team at Furness General Hospital who were wonderful throughout such a terrible time. He would have been very grateful to them. »
Mr Thistlethwaite grew up and lived most of his life in Ulverston, attending Lightburn School, Victoria High and Ulverston Grammar School, before studying for his dental degree at the University of Glasgow, graduating at the end of the 1960s.
Mr Thistlethwaite was a popular and respected dentist, running a practice in Benson Street, Ulverston and denture clinics at Furness Dental Lab in Greengate Street, Barrow.
A keen rugby fan as a youth, Mr Thistlethwaite was a former secretary of Furness Rugby Union Club in Barrow, playing competitively until his late 40s.
He was a talented pianist who took great pleasure in playing classical music with friends.
With his wife Louise, Mr. Thistlethwaite leaves one sister, Elaine; three children from previous marriages, Donna, Gregory and Max; and four grandchildren, Tom, Emily, Mei and An Ni.
Coroner Nicholas Shaw entered a verdict of accidental death.