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Llwynhendy TB outbreak: Family 'disgusted' after death

media caption"I knew in my heart that she'd gone"

The family of a woman who died after an outbreak of tuberculosis said they are "disgusted" with how it was handled.

Margaret Pegler's daughter Joanna said the 64-year-old died five days after being told she had the disease last September.

They formally complained to Hywel Dda health board about her treatment.

The health board said it could not comment, while it is unclear how many have been affected in Llwynhendy, Carmarthenshire.

TB is a bacterial infection, spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person.

It is a serious condition, but can be cured with proper treatment.

image captionHer children Joanna and Jonathan Pegler believe they were not given enough information about the disease

Experts revealed on Thursday that 29 people have had cases confirmed in Llwynhendy since 2010, and a screening programme has been set up to help control the outbreak.

Five other members of Mrs Pegler's family have also been affected, and received treatment.

Public Health Wales (PHW) said in addition to the 29 people affected, about 80 others have been identified as contacts of the confirmed cases and are being invited to be screened.

It said there could be even more unidentified TB cases associated with the outbreak.

Ms Pegler said her mother was lovely, enjoyed life to the full and "had the heart of a lion".

But she fell ill in June 2018, and developed a persistent cough and night sweats.

image copyrightJonathan Pegler
image captionMargaret Pegler (right) ,with her twin sister Elizabeth, enjoyed life to the full, her family said

She was diagnosed with TB on 14 September, and died on 19 September.

Ms Pegler said the family were relieved by the TB diagnosis because they feared it could have been lung cancer.

But the family was given no advice, she said, adding: "We were offered no information, nothing.

"They told us then that she would be seen in clinic in Carmarthen on 26 September.

"That was that, basically."

image captionThe family believe opportunities were missed to diagnose Mrs Pegler earlier

But her mother's condition deteriorated, and on Monday 17 September, the family asked the doctor to see her.

Ms Pegler said the GP told her: "I don't think she'll be here on the 26th if you hadn't acted."

However, when an ambulance arrived three hours later, she described the crew as being "really annoyed".

"They shouted at my father because none of us had masks on and none of us were gowned up," she added.

"They went back out to put their masks on. I said, "well nobody's told us anything. Nobody's told us to wear masks or gloves, aprons, nothing"."

After being taken to hospital, Mrs Pegler called her family to say she would be allowed home in a week but her condition deteriorated and she died.


Ms Pegler said she is "disgusted" a chance to diagnose the TB was missed when her mother was sent home from a CT scan on 10 August.

"We have put a complaint into the hospital. We want answers from it all," she said.

The family also said not enough had been done to control the outbreak.

PHW is calling on people who may have been exposed to TB at the Joiners Arms pub in Llwynhendy, between 2005 and 2018, to come forward.

But Ms Pegler said while her mother might have been for a meal a few times over the years, she was not a regular.

Screening will be carried out in June at the Joiners Arms, Llwynhendy Health Centre and Parc y Scarlets.

Related Topics

  • Llanelli
  • Tuberculosis
  • Public health
  • NHS Wales

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