Woman, 35, with long-standing drug problem died from heart failure months after surgery

A woman with a long-standing drug problem died from heart failure just months after undergoing surgery, an inquest heard.

Middlesbrough's Leanne Foster, 35, tragically passed away at James Cook University Hospital on August 20, 2023, just four months after an operation. Ms Foster's inquest was held at Teesside Coroner's Court on Friday and heard the Teessider was admitted to the Middlesbrough hospital in April 2023 and found to have a heart infection.

Later that month, she underwent surgery and made a full recovery. However, in July, she was taken back to hospital by Cleveland Police following a suspected assault which saw her sustain an injury to her nose.

The inquest heard Ms Foster had a long-standing drug problem and an echocardiogram revealed she had a further infection. The Middlesbrough court heard "surgery was not a treatment option" and that the Teessider, of no fixed address, died in hospital a month later.

A post-mortem was carried out which found she died from "1a, heart failure, 1b prosthetic valve endocarditis 1c drug use."

Recording a narrative conclusion, Benjamin Haigh, Assistant Coroner for Teesside and Hartlepool, said: "Leanne Foster died on the 20th of August 2023 at James Cook University Hospital Middlesbrough. Leanne had aortic valve replacement and aortic root repair on the 28th April 2023. She recovered from this surgery and was discharged.

"She was taken to the emergency department on the 22nd of July, 2023 in relation with a suspected assault, following an echocardiogram there was confirmation she developed prosthetic valve endocarditis and she received antibiotics. Sadly surgery was not a treatment option and she died on the 20th of August 2023."