Dad found dead just days after step-sister died
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.
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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