Suffolk

Bury St Edmunds woman, 83, ordered off Seven Seas cruise ship

Suffolk coroner's court
Image caption Marguerite Hayward died in Bury St Edmunds in 2017

An 83-year-old woman was ordered to leave a cruise ship and was stranded at a foreign hospital in the weeks before she died, an inquest heard.

Marguerite Hayward was on the Seven Seas Explorer in the Mediterranean when she had a panic attack, was restrained with a bathrobe by staff and "medically disembarked", the hearing was told.

She died three months later in a care home in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

The inquest heard crew said it "wasn't in her best interests" to stay onboard.

Suffolk Senior Coroner Nigel Parsley was told Mrs Hayward woke in the early hours on 25 April 2017 "screaming" and "kicking her husband".

In a statement, her husband Frederick, who was 87 at the time but has since died, said he called for help but the security staff "shouted" at his wife, which made Mrs Hayward "lash out".

Staff aboard the Seven Seas Explorer restrained her to stop her "kicking" and "spitting", and the doctor sedated her, Suffolk Coroner's Court heard.

Mrs Hayward, who had mild dementia, was "much calmer" the next morning but the couple was told they must get off the ship immediately, the hearing was told.

'Specialist treatment'

In his statement, Mr Hayward had said they had had to pack their bags under supervision.

He said they were treated "like criminals, not like 80-plus year olds who had spent £8,500" to be on the "most luxurious ship ever built".

They were taken to Sorrento Hospital in Italy where Mrs Hayward spent five days under sedation.

She was then flown to the West Suffolk Hospital before she was moved to Glastonbury Court Care Home, where she died on 29 July 2017.

The ship's doctor said in a statement Mrs Hayward was "violent" and had to be restrained medically with sedatives because she could not be physically restrained.

He said crew staff decided to medically disembark her so she could have "specialist treatment" at hospital.

The inquest continues.

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