Edith Horn, 78 – Norovirus, MV Van Gogh Passenger, June 6, 2006, Time of Death 2:00.
The ship departed June 3, 2006, after two previous cruises saw hundreds of passengers sick with the Norovirus bug. The ship was sanitized, and permitted to reboard and leave port for another voyage.
After the first attack of the virus on board, authorities impounded the vessel for four days, when they learned she was preparing to set sail, with more passengers.
On June 3, 2006, Edith Horn, 78, from Essex, England, a retired school teacher boarded the vessel with her husband, who was a retired engineer, for a cruise around Norway.
On the fourth day of the cruise, Edith became so ill, she retired to her cabin, and her husband sought medical attention for her. She was vomiting severely, and ultimately her esophagus ruptured.
Her husband said, “My wife rested on the bed and and by this time she was not feeling at all well”. He tried to buy painkillers at the ship’s shop but they had sold out and when he returned his wife was suffering from severe vomiting, diarrhea and pains in her chest.
The ship’s doctor, Andre Glumob, was called at about 10pm and administered painkilling injections and later a drip. Over the next few hours Mrs Horn had up to eight visits from the doctor but her condition continued to deteriorate and Dr Glumob told Mr Horn: “Your wife is very ill. I think she is going to die.”
Mr Horn added: “I just went back into the cabin and tried to comfort my wife but she was still in pain.
“She said she would love a cup of tea. I went to fetch a cup of tea with a straw and she tried to drink it but she couldn’t keep it down.
“She sank back on to the bed and she was really cold and I phoned the doctor again and he confirmed she was dead.”
During an inquest yesterday into Mrs Horn’s death, it emerged the Ukrainian doctor on board, failed to tell environmental health officers who boarded the ship for a routine check on its return that a passenger had died.
It also came to light during the inquest, the ship had already been disinfected earlier the same month after 90 passengers and 18 crew were struck down by the virus on a previous cruise.
Tim Knight, director of passenger services at Travelscope, told the inquest such outbreaks were a part of operating cruises.