Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
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Norfolk Woman with ME killed herself weighing just five stone...

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by sproggle, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. sproggle

    sproggle Jan

    Teesside, England UK
    Surely this tragic story needs wider coverage than this!!!!!! From Apr 2010 19:16:16:747

    Woman with ME killed herself weighing just five stone DAVID BALE

    Last updated: 28/04/2010 14:16:00

    A support group for ME sufferers today called for more help after an inquest was told a woman with the chronic fatigue syndrome weighed just 5st when she committed suicide.

    Annette Upton, 36, was found in the bathroom of the home she shared with her parents in New Road, Hethersett, on March 1 last year, a Norwich inquest heard yesterday

    The court was told she was so emaciated at the time of her death she weighed just 34kg or just over 5st.

    Miss Upton's father, William Upton told the inquest that she had suffered from ME for many years, but had nowhere to turn to for help.

    Afterwards, Dan Ward, from the ME Support group in Norfolk, said Miss Upton was sadly not an isolated case.

    He said: There are many people in Norfolk with ME who don't know where to turn for help. Sufferers are also sometimes not believed when they talk about their condition.

    This is a serious problem and nothing is really been done to address it. We have about 150 members in Norfolk, but there are at least another 150 people also suffering from ME in the county.

    The inquest heard that Miss Upton had lost 2st in just six months, but doctors could not discover any physical abnormalities that were causing her loss of weight.

    Mr Upton told the inquest he found her lifeless body alongside a note in which she said how much she loved her parents and apologised for what she was about to do.

    He added: Before she was admitted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in November 2008, she was not eating anything. We were desperate and could not wait any longer for her to get help. She could not turn to anybody for help with her ME.

    N&N consultant Dr Crawford Jamieson saw Miss Upton when she was admitted to hospital.

    He said: She was very unwell. She was weak and had a past history of ME. She had a body mass index of 14 when a healthy person's should be between 20 and 25.

    She was seriously underweight. We started re-feeding her to give her nutrition. It was unclear what the cause of her weight loss was, but it was critical.

    He said she started to put on weight while in hospital and was discharged the following month.

    But she was admitted to hospital again in January after Dr Jamieson saw her at his outpatients' clinic and grew concerned that she had not put on weight since her discharge. She was again readmitted to hospital and grew a bit stronger before she was discharged in February, he said.

    In between her hospital visits she saw psychiatrist Dr Steve Agius in December and he determined that she had a swallowing problem with food getting stuck in her food pipe.

    He said she was unhappy with her weight and did not have an eating disorder as she did not want to lose weight.

    He said: "Her weight loss was a result of her difficulty with swallowing and getting full quickly. She had no suicidal thoughts and did not suffer from clinical depression."

    Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of suicide whilst in a disturbed state of mind.

    For more information about the Norfolk ME Support group ring 01263 861521 or visit
  2. HopingSince88

    HopingSince88 Senior Member

    This is a very sad story.

    Yesterday in Maine (US) - a man killed his son (age 22) who had autism. He then killed himself. At age 22 it seems many services disappear because the patient is no longer a child. This is just so wrong.
  3. Min

    Min Guest

    Suicide 'whilst in a disturbed state of mind'

    not suicide because she was desperately ill and could access no NHS tests that would actually show what was wrong, and absolutely no effective NHS treatment - no doubt the poor woman had the usual contempt heaped on her from the majority of the UK medical profession she encountered

    that's dreadful Hoping, you are right - it is so wrong
  4. Francelle

    Francelle Senior Member

    Victoria, Australia
    Sounds like she had severely impaired oesophageal and gastric motility. Gastroparesis (GP) and oesophageal dysmotility cause the type of symptoms which are described in the article.

    I wonder if she ever had a GES (Gastric Emptying Study) and oesophageal manometry done! GP and oesophageal paralysis (dysmotility) are provable and testable conditions which if diagnosed correctly can be managed with a variety of medications, surgical options and dietary modifications through liquid diet or jejunostomy feeds. Not an ideal way to live but at least it is a validation of symptoms.

    Terribly, terribly sad!!
  5. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

    I totally agree Min, it should read: "Manslaughter by medical negligence".

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