This article was published in The Shepparton News on July 18, 2012.
Jerry Brown-Sarre and his wife Margaret Brown had many plans for how they would spend the last phase of their lives together.
They had a ‘‘bucket list’’ — they were going to dance and travel and have fun together.
But about three years ago Mr Brown-Sarre lost his best mate, ‘‘the perfect wife and woman’’, the mother of his two sons and the woman he says loved him unconditionally for 49 years.
And her death haunts him. Mr Brown-Sarre claims his wife died due to negligence at Goulburn Valley Base Hospital after she was admitted with pneumonia in August 2009.
She was transferred from Goulburn Valley Base Hospital to St Vincent’s Hospital, where her leg was amputated. She died 20 days later.
Mr Brown-Sarre said he lost interest in running his transportation business after Mrs Brown died.
‘‘When you’re without an incentive, life doesn’t exist anymore, ’’ he said.
‘‘I’m learning ballroom dancing because she was a ballroom dancer, she wanted to go on a cruise and dance.
‘‘I’m going on a cruise to Hawaii — it’s not going to be much fun on my own, but anyway.
‘‘When I do finally see her again I can tell her I’ve done what we planned.
‘‘She was a romantic, Margy, she was a really good bird.
‘‘One thing I get jealous of these days is couples, when I see them walking down the street or having a cuddle.
‘‘I can’t just give her a cuddle anymore or dance around the kitchen with her.
‘‘We were great mates. I really miss those little things, you know?’’
Mr Brown-Sarre said he couldn’t get over the trauma of her death and some days he could think of little else.
‘‘If Margaret had died from pneumonia I would have been sad and I would have gotten over it because we’ve all got to die some time, ’’ Mr Brown-Sarre said.
‘‘But she died unnecessarily.
‘‘Had I known what she would have gone through for the next 20 days I wouldn’t have taken her leg.
‘‘The hardest thing I had ever done was to authorise the amputation of one of Margaret’s gorgeous legs and I still have nightmares over it.’’