AN “inspirational” man died after an accidental fall left him immobile for months while battling cancer, an inquest heard.

Ian Dillow, 81, died peacefully in his own home in Romsey, surrounded by his family, after a life spent caring for others.

An inquest was held at the Coroner’s Court in Winchester on Tuesday, February 13 to determine the cause of Mr Dillow’s death on April 11 of last year.

The father of two, grandfather of five and great grandfather, was originally believed by doctors to have passed away from metastatic lung cancer but his daughter Kerry Nicholas told area coroner Jason Pegg that his deterioration was due to a fall.

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Mr Dillow was well known to many as a trustee of Rowans Hospice in Waterlooville and a magistrate of more than 30 years. He started his career as a journalist for the Portsmouth News before moving with his family to South Wonston to become communications director of the Wessex Regional Health Authorities.

Mr Dillow retired in 1995. He and his wife Jean moved to Laurence Mews in Romsey in 2012.

Speaking at the inquest, his daughter Kerry, said: “Dad was a very intelligent, stoical and proud man. He excelled in pretty much everything that he put his mind to. He had a drive to get to the top of whatever challenge he was climbing.

“His contributions to the community were massive.”

Mr Dillow was diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2019, when he was told he only had a matter of months left to live.

Kerry, who previously worked as the regional manager of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “He wasn’t accepting that and proved them all wrong, which is typical dad. He was very defiant, he would say ‘I might have cancer but cancer hasn’t got me’”.

The 81-year-old became bed-bound in November 2022 after he fell going downstairs to smoke of his pipe and suffered a fractured neck of femur.

Hampshire Chronicle: Ian DillowIan Dillow (Image: Contributed)

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Kerry told coroner Jason Pegg: “Cancer didn’t cause dad’s death. He was plodding on reasonably and all the medication was keeping him comfortable. He was bed-bound after his surgery and that had a massive effect on his respiratory system which caused the pneumonia."

Concluding the inquest, Mr Pegg, said: “We thought it was a natural death but hearing from you it was unnatural and was an accident. He wouldn’t have died when he did without the fall. The cause of death will be amended.

“You and your family have my genuine condolences. He was clearly a very much loved dad and inspirational man.”

Speaking after the inquest, Kerry said: “He touched the lives of everybody he came into contact with in a positive and supportive way. He always had time for people and you can’t put a value on that. He was such a funny man.

“Many a time past managers or trustees that worked with him would ask him what they should say even though he had stepped down.

“He faced everything that this disease threw at him with courage, integrity and positivity. Even when we all knew that they couldn’t do any more for him he still remained positive.”