Note: An earlier version of this article featured an incorrect picture purporting to be that of the victim. We apologise for this error.
The grief stricken family of a businessman who died in Tunisia have been left without full answers after his body was repatriated without his brain or spleen. Marketing director Andrew Grigg, 37, was on holiday in 2012 with his wife Sarah, his two daughters and several friends when he is believed to have drowned in a hotel swimming pool. The couple's daughters were aged three and six at the time of his death.
At his inquest this week the coroner said it was impossible to fully explain what happened to Grigg, from Bideford, Devon, because his body was returned to the UK with vital organs missing. This meant British doctors could not carry out a full post-mortem into his death. Sarah Grigg told Devon County Court that she was watching when she saw her husband was underwater and had turned blue.
"Someone said: 'we need to get him out!' " she said. "He was blue in colour. It was very distressing; I remember someone said he had a weak pulse. Grigg was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation but did not regain consciousness. After he died at hospital, his organs were taken out before his body was repatriated back to the UK.
Sarah Grigg described the whole experience as "very distressing". The court heard how she was not allowed to see her husband straight away after he was rushed to hospital. His friends were able to visit him for only three minutes each. Andrew Grigg died at Mohamed Taher Al Maamouri Hospital in Nabeul several days later but his family were not informed for eight hours.
Coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland informed the inquest that her powers did not extend to overseas legal jurisdictions and that this meant that key facts about Andrew Grigg's death remained unavailable. "The inquest was opened on June 7, 2012 – a very long time ago," she said. "I know members of the family are fully aware of the difficulties we have had trying to get information from the Tunisian authorities." Dr Jason Davies, who was told to carry out the autopsy, stated that he was unable to give a full report.