Sister to Matthew Russo Davalee Jaswinsky addressing media outside of court.
Sister to Matthew Russo Davalee Jaswinsky addressing media outside of court.

INQUEST: 'My family will never be the same'

A TOWNSVILLE man who died within 21 hours of seeking medical treatment could have survived his illness had he been admitted to hospital, according to a respiratory specialist.

Professor Dr Grant Waterer told the coroner's court on Thursday that Matthew Russo, 37, who died of pneumonia on January 6, 2015, had an equal chance of surviving his illness if he had been sent to the emergency department after having his vital signs checked.

Mr Russo was suffering from flu-like symptoms when he was sent home with a cough suppressant by Dr Seyedfakhroddin Sajadi, then a GP at the Upper Ross Medical Centre, on January 2, 2015.

Mr Russo, who was coughing up blood, saw a different GP, Dr Edel Garcia Monteagudo, at the Pinnacle Medical Centre on January 5, 2015, who prescribed him antibiotics and sent him home with a diagnosis of an upper respiratory tract infection.

He was dead within 21 hours.

Dr Waterer told the inquest Dr Garcia had recorded in his notes that there had been crackling noises in Mr Russo's lungs, which meant that pneumonia should have been excluded through chest X-rays and the documentation of key vital signs such as pulse and respiration rate.

"The issue is again the vital signs … I think it unlikely that he didn't have warning signs on at least one of his vitals," he said.

On the first day of the inquest, the court heard that neither doctor who saw Mr Russo adequately recorded notes of their consultations.

The sister of Mr Russo, Davalee Jaswinsky, sat next to her mother in the witness stand and tearfully read out a statement on how her brother's death had affected her family.

"Since his death, Matthew has missed the birth of a nephew and the marriage of his little sister, being me," she said.

"All of which he should have been given the opportunity to embrace and witness are things that we feel he was robbed of as Matthew loved life, and he would have wanted to live.

"Matty was also a good friend to many, I was in awe of the near 400 people who attended Matthew's funeral.

"My family will never be the same since the day Matty was taken from us."

The coronial inquest into the death of Mr Russo concluded hearing evidence, with Coroner Nerida Wilson to hand down her findings at a later date this year.