It was an ankle injury suffered at a soccer match that should have been put right with a simple operation.
But Mark Melchior from Australia collapsed and died after hospital staff failed to give him a prescribed dose of blood-thinning medication, a court heard yesterday.
Melchior, 42, tore his Achilles tendon during a game in May 2004 and was admitted to the Sydney Adventist Hospital in Wahroonga.
He chose to have the tendon repaired surgically.
His family claims post-operative instructions to administer a dose of medication to prevent deep vein thrombosis and blood clots were not carried out before he was discharged from the hospital.
Less than a month later, Melchior collapsed on the floor of his home where he lost consciousness. He was rushed back to the hospital, where he was placed on life support, but he had already suffered massive brain damage.
Melchior’s wife eventually made the decision to turn off her husband's life support and spent every day with him until he died two weeks later on June 10.
Melchior, on behalf of herself and her three children is suing the hospital and doctors involved.