Overdose woman suffered acute pain
AWOMAN who was unable to leave her house due to chronic pain was found dead by her mother after taking a prescription drug overdose.
Catherine Evans, 39, died on May 2 after being found unconscious by her mother Lorna Thompson at her home in Barry. An ambulance was called but Ms Evans was later pronounced dead later that morning.
Ms Evans, who was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome aged 15, also suffered with fibromyalgia, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and functional abdominal pain syndrome, which left her bedridden for most of the day.
In the early hours of the day before her death Ms Evans left her home in Borough Avenue – a rare occurrence – and was later found by her parents at 3am outside the Post Office in Holton Road, where she was being looked after by strangers who had become concerned for her welfare.
It later transpired that Ms Evans had taken amphetamines, which her mother described as a “miracle cure” which enabled her to get out of bed and do things she would normally be unable to do.
At an inquest hearing at Pontypridd Coroners’ Court on Thursday a statement was read out by Ms Evans’ mother. She said that she and her daughter were “very close”. Sometimes she slept at Ms Evans’ house, where she had her own bedroom, in order to keep her company.
On May 2 Ms Thompson let herself into Ms Evans’ house with her own key in order to feed the cats. She went upstairs to find her daughter and discovered her lying on her right side. Ms Thompson said she was blue and cold to the touch and there were lots of empty packets of medication.
She said: “I knew when I saw Catherine she was dead.”
Ms Thompson called Ms Evans’ father Peter Evans, who told her to phone the police and ambulance. The emergency services attended but nothing could be done for her.
In her statement Ms Thompson said: “Catherine complained to me about her overall weight but accepted it due to her condition. She would have low points and she was fed up with the way she had to live her life but we would have a cuddle and she would get back to her normal self.”
Ms Thompson said she was aware Ms Evans had used amphetamines for recreational use and that her condition was worsening due to constant stomach pain. She wouldn’t eat much and would sometimes sleep all day.
A post-mortem examination and toxicology test showed a small amount of amphetamine but a large amount of painkillers. The cause of death was given as an overdose of painkillers.
Assistant coroner Nadim Bashir said: “I ... find it was a deliberate act, although I can’t say she intended the consequence of ending her life.”
Mr Bashir reached a narrative conclusion.