(YORK, UK ) -- THE frustrated parents of York Gulf War veteran Terry Walker are hoping an inquest into his death will finally be held next year, some three years after he died.
Ted and Hazel Walker, of Wheldrake, say they have still not heard any news about when the hearing will take place to investigate Terry’s death in May 2007. The father of two was 48 when he died shortly after a failed heart transplant in Newcastle.
An inquest was originally scheduled to be held in Newcastle in December 2007, but was postponed at the 11th hour by the coroner at the request of the Walkers.
They had been horrified after discovering it was only set to examine the failure of the transplant operation, and not the preceding years of illness which they blamed on Gulf War syndrome.
The coroner had said he did not feel issues of Gulf War syndrome should properly arise as part of the inquest proceedings, but the Walkers claimed Terry had only needed the operation because of years of ill health and stress caused by the condition, and they wanted medical witnesses to be called to speak about it.
They were convinced the former lance corporal’s exposure to radiation and inoculations in the Gulf War was the root cause of his death.
The Press launched a ‘Justice For Terry’ campaign following his death, after revealing his war pension had been cut by 60 per cent before he died. His parents believed the stress caused by this had been another factor behind him suffering the heart attack which prompted the transplant.
The newspaper successfully campaigned for Terry’s family to receive the full pension to which they were entitled.
Mrs Walker said today of the inquest date: “We have not heard anything whatsoever. We just have to be patient and sit and wait for it to be held. There’s nothing we can do.
“It’s frustrating because we cannot settle anything. We are on pins all the time. It’s going to bring it all back.”
The couple have said despite the delays, they would not regret delaying the original hearing – provided the delay eventually resulted in a full and comprehensive inquest.
A coroner’s officer said there was no news yet as to the setting of a date for the inquest.