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MY WIFE WAS THE FIRST DVT VICTIM; Holiday mum died from blood clot in 1985.


A WIDOWER has revealed his wife died from economy class syndrome in 1985 - years before the airline industry admitted it existed.

John Kelly, 78, only found out the true cause of Mary's death 15 years later.

Now he believes she was the first Scottish victim of deep vein thrombosis.

Mary died hours after a 24-hour flight home from Australia.

Yesterday, John said: "I now know what killed her but it is no thanks to the airline industry.

"Mary was fit and looking forward to a long retirement after our three-month holiday to visit our son Hugh.

"We we got home we were jetlagged and went to bed. Mary wakened me to say she had a terrible pain in her leg. She was dead within the hour."

The 60-year-old's death certificate says she died from coronary thrombosis - a blood clot in the heart.

Her doctor told John the clot had formed in her leg and travelled up.

John said: "In 1985, I had never even heard of economy class syndrome and the airlines never hinted there could be a problem with long-haul flights.

"I first read about DVT in the Daily Record last year and immediately knew that's what killed my wife." Son Hugh, 48, also read our story in Australia and phoned his dad to say "That's what killed mum."

On Wednesday, the Record told of tragic Carluke mum Shirley Henderson, who died from DVT aged 46.

She was reckoned to be the first Scottish victim.

But John, of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, said: "When I read that story, my heart sank to think 16 years after Mary's death folk are still at risk.

"Mary was a nervous flyer and never got out of her seat when the plane was in the air."

l The funeral of Shirley Henderson who, her family believe, was a victim of economy class syndrome after a trp to Singapore, takes place today at Daldowie Crematorium in Uddingston.

Her husband, Alistair, and Lanarkshire MSP Karen Gillon have demanded a public inquiry into her death and the condition.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 9, 2001
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