A YOUNG Jehovah's Witness died after a roller-blading accident because her family refused to let her have a blood transfusion, an inquest heard yesterday.

A doctor said he pleaded with her family to allow her a transfusion, which would have given her a 90% chance of survival.

Miss Emelie Grootjes, 19, broke both legs after she lost control of her skates going down a hill on July 31. Miss Grootjes, a Dutch student, had been on holiday at the Lockley Park caravan park in Hamworthy, Dorset, with her mother, father, brother, and sister, all Jehovah's Witnesses.

The inquest at Bournemouth was told that she was taken to Poole General Hospital, where she died from an embolism five days later.

Coroner Nigel Neville-Jones heard that fat and marrow from her shattered bones had entered her blood system before silting up in her lungs and finally killing her.

Dr Charles Blakeway, a consultant surgeon, described a complicated two-hour operation designed to bind the girl's legs and stop further fat getting into her bloodstream.

He said: ``We would normally give a transfusion straight away.

``The transfusion was refused from the outset because she was a Jehovah's Witness. If consent is declined then we are stuck.''

The next day he noticed problems with Miss Grootjes, and her lungs began to deteriorate. She died later in intensive care.

``The refusal of the blood transfusion contributed to her death, in my opinion.''

Dr Barry Newman, head of the intensive care unit, said: ``Somebody as young and fit as her, if she had received all the therapies we could give, then I would have given her chances as 90%.''

Her father, Mr Cornelius Grootjes, from Schogen in northern Holland, said: ``We accept other treatment but not blood or blood products.

``I think the situation with blood is not so black or white as it looks. I think the doctors did all they could and I am very happy with all that they did.''

Mr Neville-Jones, upholding the right of the individual as ``paramount'', recorded a verdict that she died as the result of an accident ``the consequences of which were contributed by the refusal of blood transfusions on religious grounds''.