A grieving husband is demanding to know who killed his wife after she went into hospital “full of life and came out a haggard corpse”.

Molly Penny’s devastated family watched over her night and day at Croydon University Hospital as she gradually wasted away before dying the day before her 87th birthday.

Her husband said the great-grandmother, who is thought to be Croydon’s longest serving teacher and worked until she was 74, starved to death after undergoing an endoscopy.

Don Penny said: “The ill-advised endoscopy left her unable to swallow, eat or drink for more than a fortnight.

“We were told the endoscope had been blocked, presumably caught in the stricture or narrowest part of her gullet.

“Twisting and turning the blocked or trapped instrument is believed to have damaged her swallowing function, epiglottis or upper oesophagus.

“We had to watch a lovely wife and mother being destroyed.

“We were absolutely devastated and horrified by the experience and she is a great loss to me personally, my family and her many friends and former colleagues.”

Croydon Guardian: Don Penny wants to know why his wife Molly died

Mr Penny said his wife had originally been admitted to the hospital in November last year with a chest infection but was discharged after an x-ray came back clear.

She was then taken back into hospital a day later and he is still trying to find out who made this decision.

He said: “She went back to hospital by ambulance, but on whose orders?

“The observation ward was surprised to see her back, but passed her from ward to ward for a series of painful tests and treatments until she had the endoscopy.

“She went in fit, active and full of life and came out a haggard corpse.

“The cancer death certificate is a convenient label, but her throat was never inspected to our knowledge or felt for lumps and growth.”

Mr Penny said the hospital held an investigation into his wife’s death, but said the report did not answer his questions about why she was sent back into hospital, nor why the endoscopy was necessary.

He said: “The report into my wife’s death is inadequate.

"It contains misleading information, factual errors, oversights and important omissions about the endoscopy and there are also baffling anomalies.”

Croydon Guardian: Don Penny is pushing for an independent inquiry into what happened

The 87-year-old (pictured above), who worked for the colonial and diplomatic services, said he is now pushing for an independent inquiry into what happened.

A Croydon Health Services NHS Trust spokesman said: “The trust takes complaints raised by patients and their families very seriously and always investigates them to a high standard, ensuring our findings are accurate, thorough and in-depth.

“We always offer to meet families and patients as many times as they need to discuss our findings in detail and address any additional concerns.”