Widow left in tears over letter to dead husband

Sylvia Coupland with the letter she received. Picture: Sarah Standing (143072-4898)
Sylvia Coupland with the letter she received. Picture: Sarah Standing (143072-4898)
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A WIDOW was left distraught after opening a hospital letter addressed to her late husband – sent 13 years after his death.

Sylvia Coupland, 80, said she broke down in tears when she received the correspondence from Queen Alexandra Hospital.

The letter was addressed to Harry Coupland, inviting him to QA for a CT scan on his chest in January next year.

However Mr Coupland lost his battle to prostate cancer in May 2001, which he fought for four years, and died aged 67.

Mrs Coupland, of Chestnut Drive, in Petersfield, said: ‘The letter has caused me a lot of distress.

‘If there was someone with a weaker heart than mine then I think they would have collapsed at reading such as thing.

‘It has taken me a long time to get over Harry’s death, all we had were each other, and I was devastated when I lost him.

‘We had done everything together, and during his last two years the cancer was very aggressive.

‘When I read the letter I broke down and burst into tears, for me it brought back many memories.

‘It has taken me many years to come to terms with Harry’s death, and to see the letter like that was horrible, I would never wish that on anyone else.’

Mrs Coupland met her husband when she was 22 years old, where they both worked at the John Palmer brush company in Portsmouth.

They got married 18 months after they met and never had any children.

Mrs Coupland added: ‘We never had any children and we did everything together.

‘We both enjoyed listening to country music and worked for the same company. We used to live in Portsmouth, we then moved to Southbourne, before settling in Petersfield.

‘When Harry was diagnosed with his cancer, he was being treated at the then St Mary’s Hospital, in Milton Road, Portsmouth.

‘Why he got a letter from QA is beyond me and I really don’t want this to happen again.

‘It has caused me a lot of distress and brought back many memories.’

The letter came from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), which runs QA.

PHT said it has ‘apologised profusely’ for the error.

A spokesman for the hospital trust said: ‘We spoke to Mrs Coupland and apologised profusely for any distress caused by our clerical error.

‘We are now taking the necessary actions to ensure this does not happen again.’