The death of Kamilaroi/Dunghutti man Ricky “Dougie” Hampson Jr after alleged medical negligence has been referred to the New South Wales coroner for investigation.

In August last year Mr Hampson, 36, presented to Dubbo Hospital with severe stomach pain, a highly elevated heart rate, and a “popping and tearing” sensation in his stomach.

Rather than being thoroughly examined and given a scan, the father of eight was sedated, given painkillers, monitored, discharged, and told by hospital staff to go home and “drink water”.

Within hours he was dead.

In a statement issued Monday, Mr Hampson’s family said he would have survived had he been examined properly.

He suffered from two perforated ulcers, and had torn his stomach lining and bowel wall. He also tested positive for COVID-19 while in hospital care, which, his family alleges, he was never told.

Mr Hampson’s parents Ricky Hampson Snr, and Lydia Chatfield have campaigned for a coronial inquest into why he was denied appropriate treatment and discharged from Dubbo Hospital.

The family’s change.org petition to the New South Wales Attorney General and state coroner demanding an inquest has gathered more than 10,500 signatures.

Mr Hampson Snr said on Monday his son’s death left behind a loving family who missed him every day.

“He was a family man and what he loved most was spending time with his children and grandson. He was the light of any celebration – he was the one who made everyone laugh. We are in a world of darkness now that he isn’t around,” he said.

“It beggars belief that in 2022, in a country like Australia, someone as young as my son could be denied proper care at a hospital and subsequently die from a ruptured stomach ulcer.

“Unfortunately, this is a shockingly common thread among my community when they go through the New South Wales health system.”

A number of recent high profile cases have seen Indigenous people denied proper medical care, leading to their death, including Ms Dhu in South Hedland in 2014.

Last year an inquest into the death of 27-year-old Wiradjuri woman Naomi Williams at Tumut Hospital, also in New South Wales, found implicit bias led to the hospital’s clear and ongoing inadequacies in her care.

In 2020 Queensland’s Office of the Health Ombudsman issued a damning report on the conduct of Bamaga Hospital surrounding the death of six-year-old Torres Strait Islander boy, Charlie Gowa, in 2017.

Mr Hampson Snr said health professionals at fault must be held to account, or Aboriginal people would keep dying from preventable causes.

“No parent should outlive their child. We hope that real change is implemented – I don’t want a single more person in our community to be failed and die due to gross failures of the health system,” he said.

The NSW Attorney General and Minister for Regional Health would not comment while the coronial inquest is underway.

National Justice Project chief executive George Newhouse said the inquest into Ms Williams’ death had established prejudice and bias against Aboriginal people in the health system could harm or kill.

Mr Newhouse, who is legally representing Mr Hampson Snr and Ms Chatfield, said governments across Australia “already know this is a real issue”.

“Dougie’s parents are calling for a raft of urgent reforms, including the immediate adoption of a professional standard that requires medical practitioners to provide culturally safe care to Indigenous patients, and a requirement for hospitals to employ 24-hour Aboriginal Health Liaison Workers that visit patients in emergency care,” he said.

Queensland University of Technology School of Public Health Indigenous health professor Chelsea Watego said successive national plans had failed to stamp out racism in the health system.

“Mr Hampson deserved better and so too does his family,” she said.

“It is not only necessary that an inquest be granted, but that it considers explicitly the role of racial stereotyping in Mr Hampson’s tragic death, said Ms Watego, a Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman.

“Any commitment to a health system free of racism rings hollow in the face of refusals to reckon with how it is working in this moment.”