Dad found dead just days after step-sis­ter died

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - THOMAS DEA­CON thomas.dea­con@waleson­

A FAM­ILY en­dured a triple tragedy when a young dad was found dead just days after his step-sis­ter – whose own sis­ter had died while preg­nant three years be­fore.

David Llewellyn, known as Dai, died 17 days after his step-sis­ter Jes­sica Cow­dery, a coroner heard.

Con­sec­u­tive in­quests on Wed­nes­day, May 23, heard that mum Ms Cow­dery died after tak­ing pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion lit­tle more than two weeks be­fore her step­brother Dai Llewellyn died of nat­u­ral causes in Brid­gend.

Their deaths came after Ms Cow­dery’s sis­ter Amy died of nat­u­ral causes more than three years ago aged just 26 when she was three and a half months preg­nant.

Pon­typridd Coroner’s Court heard den­tal nurse Ms Cow­dery died aged 26 on Novem­ber 22 last year.

In a state­ment read to the court, mother Elaine Llewellyn said her daugh­ter started hav­ing “mood swings” from eight years of age.

She said: “She was a happy child. A bright girl. She did well at school.

“When she was about eight years old I no­ticed she would have mood swings. I didn’t think much of it.

“Her mood swings only seemed to oc­cur with fam­ily mem­bers.”

She was later di­ag­nosed with type-two bipo­lar disor­der and had pre­vi­ously taken over­doses of pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion and at­tended Al­co­holics Anony­mous.

The in­quest was told Ms Cow­dery took an over­dose of pre­scrip­tion drugs in 2017 which was put down as a “mis­take” and later took an­other over­dose which left her on life sup­port for five days.

In July Mrs Llewellyn took her daugh­ter to the GP as she was con­cerned for her health and wor­ried that “no-one was help­ing her”.

Mrs Llewellyn said: “Jes­sica did not cope well with the loss [of Amy]. She had a spe­cial bond with her.”

In the months be­fore her death Ms Cow­dery was see­ing her son twice a week and Mrs Llewellyn said her daugh­ter was “lonely” and missed hav- ing her son liv­ing with her at her home in Brid­gend.

On the day of her death Ms Cow­dery sent a friend im­ages of empty med­i­ca­tion pack­ets and pills, prompt­ing an­other friend to visit her home.

Coroner An­drew Barkley said: “De­spite ef­forts to get to her quickly by the time help ar­rived she was de­ceased.

“It’s clear she did have dif­fi­cul­ties – there’s lit­tle doubt about that.

“She had con­sid­er­able in­put from the men­tal health team. It seems the help she had at that point was ap­pro­pri­ate.”

He added: “What is ab­so­lutely clear is there is a his­tory [of men­tal health is­sues] that goes back many years. The pre­cise cir­cum­stances one can never un­der­stand.”

A post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion con­cluded Ms Cow­dery died from poi­son­ing due to pro­pra­nolol, a beta-blocker med­i­ca­tion used for anx­i­ety symp­toms, and found al­co­hol in her sys­tem.

Mr Barkley con­cluded Ms Cow­dery died from the toxic ef­fects of pro­pra­nolol in which her in­ten­tions were un­clear.

A sep­a­rate in­quest, also heard at Pon­typridd Coroner’s Court, found that her step-brother Mr Llewellyn died of nat­u­ral causes.

His fa­ther Keith, from Caerau, said his son – who had a young son – was some­one who “loved life too much”.

Mr Llewellyn was born in Tondu and was liv­ing in a bed­sit in Tondu Road, Brid­gend, at the time of his death after be­ing re­leased from HM Prison Cardiff.

His fa­ther had said pre­vi­ously: “Dai was trou­bled. He had low es­teem of him­self – he was trou­bled.

“But he was brought up to have a lot of care for peo­ple in his life.

“He al­ways had this in­se­cu­rity when he left school and cer­tain things hap­pened in his life.”

The in­quest heard he had been drink­ing heav­ily with his girl­friend Am­ber Knight on the day he died.

A state­ment by Ms Knight read to the court said the 25-year-old was a “heavy drinker” and would drink “20 cans a day”.

After vis­it­ing var­i­ous pubs on De­cem­ber 6 Ms Knight and Mr Llewellyn re­turned to his bed­sit where they con­tin­ued drink­ing.

Ms Knight said: “He wanted to fall asleep on the bed – he ap­peared quite drunk.”

She left the room to play video games but when she tried to re­turn there was no re­sponse. She fell asleep in a com­mon room and was awo­ken to dis­cover he had been found dead by emer­gency ser­vices.

A post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion con­cluded the cause as sud­den and un­ex­pected death in al­co­hol mis­use and Mr Barkley gave a con­clu­sion of nat­u­ral causes.

For con­fi­den­tial sup­port, the Sa­mar­i­tans can be con­tacted for free around the clock 365 days a year on 116 123.

Jes­sica Cow­dery died aged 26 on Novem­ber 22 last year

Dai Llewellyn was found dead in Brid­gend aged 25 about two weeks after his step-sis­ter died

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