Widow blames death on QLD health

ROD PASKINS was the love of Daphne Paskins’ life.

“But he’s dead and he shouldn’t be and I blame the Queensland health system for losing him.”

Daphne Paskins, still grieving terribly, told the Chronicle she had decided to “speak out now to lend weight to your paper’s campaign Stop the Bleeding so that lives can be saved”.

Former decorated Northern Territory police officer Rod Paskins was made an invalid and left the force in 1988 in the wake of a brutally violent incident that wrecked his health.

“But it wasn’t his death sentence,” Ms Paskins said.

“That came when Rod told me here in our Maryborough home just before 3pm on March 25 that he had chest pains.

“We had moved from the Territory to Maryborough and were enjoying life except for Rod’s pain from the Darwin incident.

“He managed pain well so when he told me he had chest pains I knew that meant something was wrong and I called the ambulance.”

Mr Paskins, 59, was checked out at Maryborough Hospital.

“The staff were very good,” Ms Paskins said.

“But I went home to feed the dogs and couldn’t believe it when they rang around 11pm to say Rod was being sent home.

“Even five years ago when you went to hospital with chest pains they kept you in overnight for observation.”

Mr Paskins went to bed that night and told his wife of 37 years that he was still feeling ill and had the pains in his chest.

“We were lying on the bed with Rod resting the next afternoon and he stood up and said ‘I feel faint’.

“He crashed on to the hallway floor. I called triple-0 and I couldn’t revive him. Oh God, I tried, I tried everything. Later they told me Rod was probably dead by the time he hit the floor.”

Mr Paskins’ coroner’s report says he died from a severe heart attack. His left artery was blocked.

“I believe that Rod would be alive today if someone at the hospital that day hadn’t decided he was OK and rang me to pick him up.

“I put that decision down to the pressure the health system was under then and obviously still is today. It’s not the staff. They’re generally terrific. It’s the system that is overloaded with bureaucracy and so dicing with people’s lives.”

Daphne now lives “one day at a time”, with her two adult daughters “keeping an eye on me” and her husband’s dog Scotty and their shared pup, Bella, for company.

“The dogs have got me through but I will grieve for the rest of my life.

“Rod was my soul mate and I just hope that speaking out about this now will save someone else’s life.”

Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District Northern Cluster Manager Beth Norton said yesterday that patient confidentiality prevented comment on specific cases.

“However, Queensland Health considers all coronial recommendations and reviews policies and procedures to ensure best-practice is followed at all times. Hospital procedures are also investigated and reviewed internally.

“Queensland Health extends its deepest sympathy to the family at this difficult time.”

‘It’s not the staff. They’re generally terrific. It’s the system that is overloaded with bureaucracy and so dicing with people’s lives’



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