A woman died after doctors placed a heart valve upside down during surgery. Sheila Hynes was being treated at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The 71-year-old great-grandmother suffered severe internal bleeding during the operation, which caused major damage to her heart. The procedure was led by Asif Raza Shah.
She never came round from the operation despite doctors' efforts to get her heart working again. She died in intensive care one week later, the Press Association reported.
Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed that the mistake had caused Hynes' death and that Shah still works at the Freeman.
Hynes' daughter, Jan Hopper, 55, said the family were still distraught over the death. She told PA: "My life has been destroyed by what happened to my mother.
"She was a very active woman and loved nothing more than going on holiday. The week before her operation we had been in Tenerife as her sister Carol had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
"It was a bittersweet time and mum had wanted to get her own operation over with so she could care for her sister.
"My mother was the picture of health that week and I can remember saying to her, 'mum, you look absolutely stunning'. Nothing was more important to my mum than family and she loved spending time with all of us. She was the heart of our family."
Hynes' initial operation was on 26 March 2015 and she died in April of that year. An inquest has been scheduled for later this year. She left behind seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She was having surgery to improve her breathing, which was being restricted by inadequate blood flow.
Her daughter Hopper said: "I told her I loved her and said I would call later that afternoon [the day of the initial]. When I rang the hospital at 5pm they said she was still in surgery and to ring back.
"I rang back about 6pm and straight away I knew something was not right. Staff were not clear in what they were saying. They said there had been complications and to come in."
When they arrived at the hospital the family were told by an anesthetist that Hynes had suffered a huge amount of bleeding.
Hopper said: "The surgeon came in accompanied by a nurse and when we asked why she was bleeding so heavily, he said he didn't know and there had been problems with the left side of her heart.
"They hardly told us anything and as a family we felt completely ignored and left in the dark."