‘We have lost the heart of our family’ - relatives speak out after Sunderland grandma’s death following fall

Sheila Sullivan Ross, 86, who died after an unwitnessed fall at Hylton View carehome in Sunderland.
Sheila Sullivan Ross, 86, who died after an unwitnessed fall at Hylton View carehome in Sunderland.

The heartbroken grandchildren of Sheila Sullivan Ross said they have lost ‘the heart’ of their family.

They described her as ‘a proper nana’ who loved her family and charity work.

The retired cook lived in Witherwack with late husband Charles and had two children; Shelagh, 62, and Charles, 66, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Tragically, Mrs Sullivan Ross never got to meet her youngest great-grandchild, Ava, who was born five weeks after her death.

The beloved grandmother died just two days after falling in her room at Hylton View Care Home, Southwick.

At an inquest held in Sunderland, Senior Coroner Derek Winter said he was satisifed that Mrs Sullivan Ross died as a result of an accident.

He added that there were a number of inconsistencies in the versions of events leading up to the fall.

Mum Amanda Pallas said: “I’m devastated. She is the only great-grandchild she hasn’t met.”

Granddaughter-in-law Samanthan Snowdon said: “We’ve lost the heart of our family in a way that could have been prevented.” The family have complained to the CQC and are seeking legal advice.

“We don’t want anyone to go through what we’ve been though,” granddaughter Rachel Prescott added.

Roseberry Care Centres said in a statement: “We wish to extend our very sincere condolences to the family of the late Mrs Sullivan Ross.

“During her stay at Hylton View Care home Mrs Sullivan Ross received appropriate care and support, and this was borne out in the outcome of todays hearing.

“She sadly passed away following a fall at the home, which could not have been predicted or prevented, and the Coroner did not apportion any blame on the home.

“As with any incidents such as this, we will of course reflect on the circumstances and review whether or not there are any lessons that could be learnt from these tragic circumstances.”

You can read the full report of the inquest online here.