Over­dose woman suf­fered acute pain

Western Mail - - NEWS - PHILIP DEWEY Re­porter philip.dewey@waleson­line.co.uk

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.

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