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Former coxswain's wife did not die of morphine overdose, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 17:46 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 18:12 06 February 2019

Annette Thurlow who died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Annette Thurlow who died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Dick Thurlow

A mother of three who suffered a cardiac arrest did not die from an accidental overdose as feared by her husband, an inquest has heard.

Annette Thurlow died aged 58 Picture: Dick ThurlowAnnette Thurlow died aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Annette Thurlow, 58, died after a cardiac arrest at her home in Jordan Road, Caister. She was taken to James Paget Hospital (JPH) where she was put on life support which was turned off on September 13 2018.

Her husband of 38 years, Dick Thurlow, had worried that the cause of the heart attack had been from an overdose of morphine that she had been prescribed.

But a statement from emergency staff said that this would be “unlikely” due to Mrs Thurlow’s pupils being dilated. If she had overdosed then her pupils would have become smaller.

The mother-of-three had been a nurse for 40 years before she was forced to retire due to being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013.

Annette Thurlow who died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick ThurlowAnnette Thurlow who died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Mr Thurlow told Norfolk Coroners Court in Norwich that the condition became apparent when he noticed that his wife was not taking care of herself, not showering and staying in bed a lot.

He tried to keep working while caring for his wife in a purpose-built room. On September 11, he checked on her at around 5am where she was awake watching TV.

He said he asked if she wanted a coffee which she refused. She coughed and when he checked on her she appeared to be annoyed. He then left to go to work with his son.

At about 9am, Mrs Thurlow’s mother found her on the shower room floor. Emergency services were called including the air ambulance.

Annette Thurlow who has died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick ThurlowAnnette Thurlow who has died suddenly aged 58 Picture: Dick Thurlow

Mr Thurlow, Caister lifeboat coxswain for almost 14 years, said paramedics battled to save his wife’s life after she died at least three times on the floor as they carried out CPR.

Upon arrival at the JPUH she was put into intensive care. Further tests were done but it was found that she had hypoxic brain damage and she would not wake-up.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake gave an open conclusion as the evidence could not determine the cause of the cardiac arrest suffered by Mrs Thurlow.

At the time of her death Mr Thurlow said: “She could not have done more for the community.

“She was a grafter who never had a bad word to say about anyone.”

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