A COUPLE from Doncaster have spoken of their heartbreak at arriving only hours too late to be with their son as he died in a South African hospital.
Adrian McCoy was on holiday when he was seriously injured in a car crash near Capetown after his car veered off a motorway.
He survived for more than a fortnight after the accident - but deteriorated rapidly after developing a chest infection.
The 43-year-old was a patient in one of South Africa’s top hospitals, and his family have nothing but praise for the medical care he received.
The oil company manager, who was single, ‘lived for travel’ and had visited South Africa numerous times before the fateful holiday in March last year.
An inquest was held in Doncaster yesterday after Adrian’s embalmed body was returned to the UK and a second post-mortem examination was carried out at DRI.
Adrian, who lived with his parents in Craithie Road, Town Moor, was the third of William and June McCoy’s six children and was described by sister Michaela as ‘great fun, great company, and well loved by all who knew him’.
Little information about the crash has been received by the coroner from the South African authorities, but Adrian’s father carried out his own investigation while over there.
The retired painting contractor told the inquest: “It is my view he was driving on a motorway from Simonstown to Capetown and had been on it for about a mile.
“I don’t know why, but he veered left and off the road into a metal fence post.
“It is my view there was nothing suspicious surrounding Adrian’s death. There was nobody else involved so the police treated it as a low priority.”
After being taken to a private hospital suffering from head and chest injuries, Adrian was transferred to the Groote Schuur Hospital in Capetown for emergency surgery to relieve swelling on his brain.
He was placed on a ventilator, and medical staff told his family by phone he was making good progress.
Mr McCoy said: “We planned to go to South Africa when he was fit to receive visitors. We were in constant contact with the hospital, twice a day, and he was showing signs of being on his way to recovery.
“On March 24 I made the usual call to the hospital and was told he was far more serious with another chest infection and his lungs were filling with fluid.
“We took the next flight to Capetown but he had passed away. We got there at 11am and he had died about 5am.”
But Mr McCoy stressed: “We were more than pleased with the medical care he received. There was very good communication from the hospital doctors and a nurse met us at the airport. Everybody was more than helpful.
“We were just too late to see him before he died. We regret not going out earlier but that is with hindsight - we didn’t expect such a deterioration.”
Adrian had visited South Africa three or four times in the past and his father said he was an ‘avid traveller’.
Assistant coroner Mark Beresford recorded a narrative verdict, that Adrian died after he was involved in a road traffic accident and developed broncho-pneumonia.