A RETIRED post office worker who was found dead on Boxing Day died of natural causes, a coroner has ruled.
John Robson Ross had returned from a cruise holiday just days before he was taken ill with stomach pains, Sunderland coroner Derek Winter was told.
Admitted to Sunderland Royal Hospital, he had chest X-rays and blood samples, which revealed constipation and a possible infection. He was discharged on December 13, and prescribed antibiotics.
Mr Ross, 74, was last seen by his niece Natalie Forster, 31, at 7.30pm on Christmas Day.
But when she returned to his home in Newbold Avenue, Monkwearmouth, the following day, she found her uncle dead in his bedroom. There was a pool of blood on the floor.
He had suffered a “catastrophic and acute” haemorrhage and the post-mortem examination showed “a large amount of blood” in the stomach and intestines. It was caused by a benign ulcer.
Miss Foster said the family were satisfied with the evidence at the hearing and wanted to thank doctors for attending.
“It was a huge shock to lose my uncle quite so suddenly. He has always been a fit and active man,” she added.
Recording his conclusion, Mr Winter said Mr Ross died from “an acute and sudden bleed as a result of a naturally occurring disease”. He found no neglect on the part of the hospital, saying the bleed could not have been predicted.