Margaret Harvey made a formal complaint to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire immediately after husband Graham died from a heart attack in 2004.
NOT GIVING UP: Margaret Harvey.
The strategic health authority, the General Medical Council and the ombudsman all reviewed her concerns but each time no fault was attached to the hospital.
Mrs Harvey, of Milford Road, Newcastle, also took out a number of private prosecutions which ultimately proved unsuccessful.
The 73-year-old says it was frustration at what she sees as a miscarriage of justice which motivated her to hire a private detective to find out where the Hartshill hospital’s chief executive Julia Bridgewater lived.
She then made so many phone calls at all times of the day and night that Mrs Bridgewater called in the police Officers fitted panic alarms at her home..
But despite now having a court conviction, the pensioner insists she would change nothing.
She told The Sentinel: “I don’t regret what I did. I believe if my husband had been given proper treatment he would have had another 10 years of life or more.
“It’s unbelievable what they have put me through. I’ve had a heart attack, I’ve been put in handcuffs and been in prison at 3am.
“I want answers about why he wasn’t treated earlier. I want the hospital to admit the care was not good enough and I want the people responsible held to account. I’m not interested in money, I want justice for Graham. I have been fighting for eight years now.
“Mrs Bridgewater doesn’t answer my questions. I didn’t feel like I had any other options than to hire a detective.”
The heartache started for Mrs Harvey when her husband suffered a heart attack while the couple were holidaying in France.
On their return to Britain, Mr Harvey, a former PE teacher at Blurton High School, was placed in the hospital’s care and was later diagnosed with angina.
He was then put on a waiting list for an angiogram, a procedure to look inside the patient’s coronary arteries to assess the damage and determine a course of treatment.
Mrs Harvey claims she was originally told the waiting list was 12 months but was later extended to up to 22 months.
She says her husband eventually decided to switch to Crewe’s Leighton Hospital because there was a shorter waiting time, and where Mr Harvey underwent an angiogram.
Mrs Harvey claims she only discovered the extent of scarring to the left ventricle of his heart after her husband’s death on March 10, 2004.
She believes her husband should have been treated as an urgent case and given a triple heart bypass.
She said: “Graham lived with angina for 14 months. He must have known something was very wrong, because after he died I found a note which he had left, which started, ‘I hope you never have to read this letter’.
“He had a cardiac arrest in his car. He managed to turn down Oakdean Avenue in Wolstanton, where we were living at the time, and he managed to press the brakes, otherwise someone else could have been hurt. I have been fighting ever since. My husband was a lovely man, he would never hurt anyone.
“But I’m not doing it just for us, I’m doing it for other people too. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.
A University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust spokesman said: “This matter is currently being dealt with by the police and the Trust cannot comment further.”