Agony af­ter weight-loss op led to an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose of painkillers


Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Lorries Slowly Destroying Grade Ii Listed Home - By Suz Elvey

A mum who suf­fered ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain since hav­ing a gas­tric by­pass op­er­a­tion died af­ter ac­ci­den­tally over­dos­ing on painkillers, an in­quest heard.

Maxine Oven­den, who would have turned 40 this summer, died on Jan­uary 14, five years af­ter un­der­go­ing the pro­ce­dure to com­bat weight prob­lems she’d bat­tled since child­hood.

Speak­ing at the in­quest in Folke­stone last Wed­nes­day, Ms Oven­den’s mum Dawn Sharp said her daugh­ter had over­come a num­ber of is­sues and things were look­ing up for her.

Mrs Sharp, of River­side Close, said: “Pre­vi­ously Maxine took al­co­hol with painkillers be­cause if she got into that state the pain wasn’t there – it was a dif­fer­ent place. Maxine had had a prob­lem with al­co­hol but it had stopped and she was happy. We’d booked a hol­i­day, she’d moved to a much bet­ter area and was tak­ing her daily ex­er­cise. She was on the up.”

Ms Oven­den lived with her son Char­lie, 20, but it was her mum who found her at her flat.

She said: “The lights weren’t on but the telly was blar­ing. She was ly­ing on the sofa, nor­mally, like you would. I shook her and said: ‘Come on, wake up.’ That’s when I re­alised she had died.”

Ms Oven­den’s GP at Sy­den­ham House Med­i­cal Cen­tre, Mill Court, Dr Edward Klim, said his pa­tient had suf­fered from nau­sea, vom­it­ing and ab­dom­i­nal pain since the op­er­a­tion and had been di­ag­nosed with clin­i­cal de­pres­sion.

She had un­der­gone nu­mer­ous tests and pro­ce­dures in an at­tempt to find out what was caus­ing the prob­lems.

Dr Klim said he was un­aware Ms Oven­den had been due to have an op­er­a­tion in Lon­don that may have eased the pain but fam­ily mem­bers told the in­quest that this was the case.

When asked whether he be­lieved Ms Oven­den had been sui­ci­dal Dr Klim replied: “I can’t say I have ever as­sessed her as be­ing sui­ci­dal although she had two over­doses, in March and July 2013, when she at­tended A&E. I saw her the day be­fore she died and she did still seem low... but if any­thing her mood was bet­ter than it had been be­fore. In my pro­fes­sional opinion it was an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose.”

In Au­gust last year Ms Oven­den, of Wa­ter­cress House, Hill­brow Lane, fell be­tween 25ft and 30ft from a bal­cony onto a road, frac­tur­ing a bone in her face among other in­juries, the hear­ing was told.

Com­mu­nity psy­chi­atric nurse Brian Viney, who saw Ms Oven­den from July 2013 un­til her death, said it was

‘I think it was ac­ci­den­tal. I think she just took one too many’

not clear whether the fall had been de­lib­er­ate or an ac­ci­dent caused by her be­ing drunk.

But her mum said the fall – “as stupid as it was” – had shocked her daugh­ter into turn­ing her life around, adding she did not be­lieve Ms Oven­den had in­tended to take her own life.

She said; “I think it was ac­ci­den­tal. I think she just took one too many. She must have wo­ken up, got the time wrong and taken one more.”

Mr Viney ad­mit­ted Ms Oven­den had been a dif­fi­cult pa­tient to deal with be­cause she pre­sented most signs of hav­ing men­tal health is­sues when she was drunk and could not be prop­erly as­sessed.

Pathol­o­gist Dr Mik­los Perenyei said a post­mortem re­vealed Ms Oven­den died from an over­dose of mor­phine and fen­tanyl – both painkillers.

Coroner Rachel Redman ac­cepted that Ms Oven­den had started to “take more re­spon­si­bil­ity for her life” since her fall and that she was “off the al­co­hol” and had “ev­ery­thing to live for”.

Mrs Redman said she was con­cerned about the med­i­ca­tion Ms Oven­den had ac­cess to but sat­is­fied the surgery had tried to re­duce that med­i­ca­tion.

The coroner gave a ver­dict of ac­ci­den­tal death.

Maxine Oven­den, who died sud­denly in Jan­uary, pic­tured above as a child and in later life

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