Cocktail of drugs killed tragic mum trying to relieve back pain

First published in Keighley by

A mother who suffered chronic back pain died after accidentally taking a cocktail of pain-relieving drugs, an inquest was told.

Samantha Feather was found dead in bed at her home in West Royd, Wilsden, on November 20, 2011, by her son who had been staying to help her decorate.

The 41-year-old had been taking pain-relieving drugs for the agony caused by a fractured spine ten years earlier. She was also on a number of anti-depressants and sleeping medication, the hearing was told.

Bradford Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday Miss Feather had a history of alcohol abuse, as well as mental health issues, and was under the care of GPs at Ashcroft Surgery in Eccleshill.

The day before she died she had been falling asleep, rolling her head back while eating and choking on her food so much that her son had to shout to wake her, the court heard.

Miss Feather had also been struggling to walk and appeared drowsy. When her son took her up to bed that night, she dropped on the bed. He heard her snoring, but when he went to check the next morning, he found her lifeless.

A post-mortem examination found she had died from inhaling her stomach contents caused by excessive and therapeutic amounts of prescribed drugs.

The court heard how bags of medication were taken away from her home after she died – including some she was no longer being prescribed.

Her daughter, Jenna Feather, questioned why the “cocktail” of drugs her mother was on had not been more closely monitored by doctors looking after her.

She said: “Why, if her GP knew she was mentally ill, did they let her have all this medication? She should have been more closely monitored.”

But a representative of Ashcroft Surgery said doctors had made sure she was only given two weeks’ supply of medication at a time to reduce any risks of overdosing, explaining patients often stored old medication rather than giving it back or getting rid of it.

One of the drugs found in Miss Feather’s system was a medication no longer prescribed to her.

Bradford Coroner Peter Straker said he was not convinced Miss Feather had taken a voluntary overdose so recorded a verdict her death was accidental.

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