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Woman with 'chronic sense of emptiness' died from brain injury after overdosing, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 20:11 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:48 07 August 2019

The  mother and sister of Amy Whitmore have paid warm tribute to the

The mother and sister of Amy Whitmore have paid warm tribute to the "bubbly" 28-year-old who had a smile for everyone Picture: Michelle Whitmore

Michelle Whitmore

A woman who died of a brain injury due to lack of oxygen after an overdose suffered from "a chronic sense of emptiness", an inquest heard.

Amy Whitmore, who died on March 25, with her favourite tippple a Koopparberg cider Picture: Michelle WhitmoreAmy Whitmore, who died on March 25, with her favourite tippple a Koopparberg cider Picture: Michelle Whitmore

Amy Whitmore died on March 25, 2019, at James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) following several days of treatment in an intensive care unit after being found unresponsive at home having taken an overdose of medication.

Miss Whitmore, 28, from Great Yarmouth, suffered from unspecified bipolar affective disorder and was known to mental health services, an inquest at Norfolk Coroners Court, (NCC) on Tuesday, August 6, heard.

Area coroner Yvonne Blake heard from community mental health nurse Terry Glasspoole who saw Miss Whitmore regularly in the year before her death.

Ms Blake heard Miss Whitmore was "up and down" over this period and was "upset at being discharged by the crisis team, [as] she wanted to be admitted".

Amy Whitmore was hailed for her amazing weight loss of more than six stone just a week before she died Picture: Michelle WhitmoreAmy Whitmore was hailed for her amazing weight loss of more than six stone just a week before she died Picture: Michelle Whitmore

"She was distressed about relationship break ups, her weight [and] she had a deep desire to become pregnant and thought she might never do so," she heard.

READ MORE: Mother's heartache after 'super slimmer's' tragic death

Ms Blake also heard she "took several overdoses and self harmed several times" before her death.

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Miss Whitmore also received treatment from Dr Larry Ayuba dating back to 2009, and the Northgate Hospital consultant psychiatrist said her condition was "challenging" to manage.

"She has overdosed, sometimes with and sometimes without, prescribed medications," he said.

"What happened really breaks my heart. If there was any person in this system that she trusted it was me. I wish I was not sat here."

He described her mental state as "a chronic sense of emptiness".

But Miss Whitmore's family questioned why she was not admitted as an inpatient and was discharged by the crisis team, despite suffering a decline in her mental health before her death, including multiple overdoses and threats to harm herself.

When Miss Whitmore was discharged by the crisis team she was described as at "an enduring risk of death by misadventure", due to her repeated overdoses, but continued to have treatment from the community team.

But Dr Ayuba said: "Admission for people who have emotionally unstable states is thought to be more harmful - it's a known fact."

The inquest was adjourned awaiting a serious incident report (SIRI) from the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). A date has not been fixed.

READ MORE: Mother's heartache after 'super slimmer's' tragic death

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