Millionaire grandfather died from infection from dirty needle in French hospital

Millionaire grandfather died from infection from dirty needle in French hospitalGetty

An inquest has heard that a millionaire holidaymaker died from a fatal infection because an unclean drip was inserted into his arm in a French hospital.

The Daily Mail reports that David Foster, 76, was admitted to Annecy Hospital near Geneva after complaining of severe back pain while skiing with his family in March last year.

He was flown back to England eleven days later, but died when an infection he picked up in hospital ruptured his heart and caused a cardiac arrest.

Matthew Waltham, the consultant vascular surgeon who treated him at St Thomas' Hospital, London, said that the infection was most likely caused by an unclean drip.

He told the Daily Mail: "It certainly looked then like the infection was caused by the cannula and it still looks like that now. I believe the cannula was put in during his stay at the hospital in France. The specimen was labelled in French."

The Telegraph reports that when Mr Foster returned to England he was diagnosed with an aortic dissection, a tear in the inner wall of the aorta.

A stent was inserted, but he died on April 4, 2012. A post-mortem found that death was caused by a rupture of the aortic wall, with evidence of sepsis caused by the infection.

He was also found to have been suffering from terminal cancer which had spread to his bone marrow and bloodstream. He was not aware of this when he was admitted to hospital but it meant that his immune system was weakened and he was not able to fight off the infection from the cannula.

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Millionaire grandfather died from infection from dirty needle in French hospital

Like Cinderella, Les Menuires is often overlooked in favour of its bolder, brasher Trois Vallees sister resorts, Courchevel and Meribel. But it's actually a great little resort, particularly for families, with plenty of nursery slopes and beginner facilities in the village, at more affordable prices. Apartments in Les Menuires start from €105 per person, per week.

Check this living room out! It could be the interior of a Russian oligarch's swish ski pad, but in fact it's a rather nifty, and pleasantly inexpensive youth hostel. Right opposite the mountain cable car and a five-minute walk from the Scuol-Tarasp Railway Station, it's perfectly positioned for the slopes. Scuol Hostel has double, single, family and dorm rooms. Prices from £40.70 per night in a six-bed room with shower in the hall, breakfast, free WiFi and an open fire. Visit

If you're not just skiing to be seen, consider Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania. Not quite as glamorous as some of the better known resorts, they are considerably cheaper (pints for €1), have great snow and a friendly, unpretentious vibe. Stay in a two-bed, self-catering apartment at the 3* The Castle, Pamporovo in Bulgaria from £240 per person, including flights from London Gatwick to Sofia. Visit Balkan Holidays

Flights alone mean skiing in North America can't really be considered a budget option, but if you really want to experience North America's best ski resort, Whistler, and still save some dollars, a motorhome is a very reasonable, not to mention cool, way to stay. The RV campsite at Whistler is fully serviced and Maxi Motorhomes sleep four, with a kitchen and bathroom. An RV for a week plus a week's stay at the Whistler campsite costs £193 pp (based on 4 people sharing) - which works out at less than £28 pp per night. Visit Frontier Travel

Although the low-cost airlines can seem like the cheapest way to get to the slopes, by the time you've factored in all the extra costs, it may be better value to make use of that tunnel linking us to mainland Europe. Stay in a one bed apartment in the comfortable, traditional-feel Club Alpina in Champagny en Vanoise, 20 metres from ski lifts giving access to the Paradiski area, for £122 per person per week (based on four sharing), including a Flexiplus Eurotunnel crossing. Visit

A pension can be a great way to save money without scrimping on comfort. Stay in Slovakia's High Tatra mountains and relax after a long day's skiing to a home-cooked meal and plenty of Slovakian wine... Mountain Paradise has a week's skiing in Slovakia from £750 per adult and £679 per child at Pension Paula or Villa Park in the High Tatras including: half board accommodation, return flights from a choice of UK airports, airport transfers, six day ski pass and ski or snowboard hire and transfer to the ski resorts of Strbske Pleso and Tatranska Lomnica. Visit

OK, it's not exactly the Alps, but the best value way to give your kids a taste of winter sports is to stay in the UK, where you can ski, snowboard, sledge and zorb at various snowparks around the country. The Snowsport Centre at Warmwell Holiday Park in Dorset lets you ski for thousands less than you'd pay abroad. There's also a fitness suite, indoor pool, ten pin bowling and evening entertainment if your ski legs don't hold up... From £507 per week for a family of four during February half term, including lodge accommodation and 20 ski sessions. 

Self-catering is a good way to go if you want to save some euros, and it doesn't necessarily mean you miss out on the little luxuries you find in swanky ski hotels. The Cami Real, in the ski resort of St Lary, located in the centre of the village, has an indoor heated swimming pool, whirlpool and sauna, ski lockers and free Wi-Fi access throughout the residence. From £75 per person for 7 nights, self catering in a 2 bedroom apartment (sleeps 4). Visit

Perfectly positioned for the Espace Diamant ski area, with its 185km of ski runs, L'Alisier ski club in Praz-sur-Arly is great for both beginners and expert skiers. Rooms have flat-screen TVs, mini fridges and WiFi and there are kids clubs for children from age three upwards. Prices start from £282 per person, based on a seven-night stay, half-board. By booking in advance, Belambra's Easy Neige option offers up to 25 per cent off ski passes and 50 per cent off ski equipment hire. Return flights from London to Geneva start from £60.98 per person with EasyJet. Visit

This pretty, private 16th century farmhouse in the Slovenian mountains has been converted into two luxury apartments, sleeping 1-5 and 1-6. Cerkno, Slovenia's most modern ski resort, is 15 miles away and has pistes and cross-country trails perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers. Prices start at just 75 euros per night for each apartment. EasyJet flies to Slovenia from London Stansted. Visit


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