Grieving widow Rosemary Birch
Grieving widow Rosemary Birch Bev Lacey

Grieving widow speaks out on hospital death of husband

ROSEMARY and Colin Birch were living a true life love story.

Both had been married before but in each other they had truly found their soul mate.

The couple met through a dating site when Rosemary was in Kingaroy and Colin at the Queensland University's Gatton campus.

"He used to drive back and forth to see me," Mrs Birch remembered.

"We had met in Finders Keepers in Kmart in Toowoomba. It was love at first sight, a true love story."

The couple was together 26 years, married for 24, before tragedy struck.

Mr Birch had entered St Vincent's Hospital for what was thought to be a simple hernia operation.

Weeks later he was dead after succumbing to faecal peritonitis, a result of his bowel being perforated during surgery.

"He was in a private hospital, we both had total trust in them," Mrs Birch said.

She suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of her husband's death which ultimately led to the loss of her job.

"I loved my job," she said.

"I went from having a husband who doted on me, we doted on each other, to then being without him, without an income."

Mrs Birch is determined to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding her husband's death and is demanding a coroner's inquest.

"Colin and I saw ourselves as social justice fighters and I'm trying to get answers," she said.

"This has consumed me but I want justice for Colin and I want people to be accountable."

Having fought for more than two years, Mrs Birch is not giving up now despite the personal distress her fight has caused.

"I had to sell his car, it was just too hard to keep. I could see how he sat when driving.

"I have changed. I'm never going to be the same person.

"But this (legal action) is just the next step. The next fight is for the inquest. And, there will be an inquest.

"I have to do it for Colin, for everyone. This can't happen again."