A "LOVING" mum-of-two died after undergoing "straightforward" weight loss surgery.
Natasha Biddulph had a gastric bypass in November 2021 and spent the following seven months in and out of hospital.
The 41-year-old passed away at the Royal Stoke University Hospital on June 15, 2022, StokeonTrentLive reports.
An inquest this week ruled the social worker died of natural causes, contributed to by her procedure.
A spokesperson for her family told the court: "She was lovely; a loving mum and a hard worker.
"She had a great sense of humour and we all miss her very much."
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Writing on GoFundMe page to raise money for her funeral, her husband David Thomas added: "Natasha was a wonderful and caring person with a fun colourful personality and hair to match.
"She was a fantastic mother to our children; she'd spend days and nights planning day trips and mini breaks for them, ensuring life was an adventure."
The inquest heard how Natasha, from Stoke-on-Trent, weighed 22st 7lb (143kg), had a body mass index (BMI) of 32.5, and was classed as obese.
She first inquired about weight loss surgery in 2019 and was scheduled for January 2020, but the operation was delayed due to Covid.
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It was eventually carried out by Dr Chandra Cheruvu, a former consultant for bariatric surgery, at County Hospital in Stafford on November 11, 2021.
By that point, she weighed around 21st 1lb (134kg).
Dr Cheruvu said: "It was a straightforward procedure and there were no concerns. She went home the next day."
But Natasha suffered with sickness and malnutrition, and returned to the hospital several times.
Medics blamed her drinking liquids too quickly, the court was told.
By January 13, 2022, the mum weighed 18st 6lb (117kg) and had been vomiting for a week.
She then tested positive for Covid and later attended A&E on February 13 with abdominal pain.
A blood test and CT scan revealed the bypass site was "normal", but there was "suspected inflation on the lower bowel".
She was discharged 10 days later, but was admitted again on June 9 and died a week later.
This has been probably the worst experience I'll ever suffer.
David said: "It was a shock, and tragic to lose her in the way we did.
"This has been probably the worst experience I'll ever suffer, not to mention the children losing their mum."
Dr Cheruvu, who was not involved in her care near the time of her death, said: "I want to express my deepest condolences to Natasha's family."
Her medical cause of death includes multi-organ failure, sepsis, and a chest infection.
The impact of any potential long Covid is not known.
Dr Cheruvu said: "In studies we have seen since the pandemic, every organ can be affected by long Covid.
"It could have played a part in her death. There is speculation it could have caused the sepsis, but that is only one possibility."
A lawyer representing the family questioned the effectiveness of the surgery, but Dr Cheruvu insisted it was "smooth".
"She would not have been discharged if there was something wrong with her," he added.
"Her last CT scan was on June 10, 2022, and there was no evidence of any structural abnormalities with the bypass itself."
Dr Anil Kumar Miriyala, who helped with Natasha's palliative care, agreed that the surgery did not cause her death, but insisted it did have an effect.
"There is evidence of malnutrition but it is difficult to differentiate between the symptoms of malnutrition and the symptoms of sepsis," they added.
Delivering her findings, Emma Serrano, North Staffordshire area coroner, said: "I am of the view that the medical cause of death makes sense in terms of everything that happened to her.
"We cannot say definitively that the gastric bypass caused malnutrition.
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"When I conclude how she passed away, I am recording a natural cause of death but it was contributed to by the bypass surgery.
"My condolences to her family."
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