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Hospital patient more than victim: partner

AAP logoAAP 18/08/2016 By Nathan Paull

The partner of a man who died in a Brisbane hospital after being given too much morphine says she wants him to be remembered as more than just a victim.

Father-of-three Michael Calder, 33, died in the Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital at Chermside in the early hours of July 11, 2014, after being treated for viral meningitis and repeatedly complaining of severe headaches.

An inquest into his death this week heard that an autopsy found he had fatal doses of morphine in his system.

His partner Andrea Young delivered an emotional address on the inquest's final day on Thursday, reminding those in the room of the man behind the incident - a loving father who would read to his sons every night, insisted on drinking milk from the carton and always had a smile on his face.

"I'm not sure why I am telling you this, but having heard him talked about so much over the past few days as `the patient', I just want everyone to know there was so much more to him than this defining incident," Ms Young said.

"That one moment where our lives just seemed to evaporate."

Ms Young said the inquest had revealed a lot to her about poor practices and a lack of knowledge and accountability at the hospital.

However, she said she was pleased at least some good - a change in practices, policies and procedures at the hospital - had come from the tragedy.

"Michael paid the ultimate price and his boys continue to pay every day," she said.

"We, his family, will obviously never forget him, but my hope is that his legacy may not just be his three beautiful boys, but also the safety of the next father that walks into the Holy Spirit Northside."

The hospital issued an statement on Thursday afternoon, expressing its regret for the incident and acknowledging the pain Mr Calder's family suffered as a result.

"Once again, we say to Mr Calder's family: We are deeply sorry for your loss," the hospital's chief executive, Daniele Doyle, said.

Coroner John Lock will hand down his findings in coming weeks.

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