Mum crippled by fear breast cancer would return took own life despite all-clear

Mirror Online 0 month ago

A 'kind and popular' mother took her own life just months after being given the all clear from cancer.

Alison Douglas, 48, was crippled by fears that her breast cancer would return, despite doctors telling her she had a 70 per cent chance of survival over the next 10 years.

She had been battling anxiety and depression for 10 months following her diagnosis and was unable to accept that disease had gone.

An inquest into her death heard Mrs Douglas had tried to take her life on two previous occasions and self-harmed before, Hull Live reports.

Evidence from Mrs Douglas' husband of 31 years read in Hull Coroner's Court described her as a "very kind, funny person, who was popular with others".

Alison Douglas lived in Summergangs Road in Hull

He said she enjoyed her job and charity work.

"Alison was a very kind, funny person who was popular with others. She worked at Humdinger and loved her work and used to run a lot of charity events and events for mothers," he said.

"When she was 17, she met me when we both worked at Masterprint and we married and moved into together in August 1993 and enjoyed holidays and long weekends together.

"Alison was born to parents unknown and was adopted as a baby. She was born with an underdeveloped kidney and had water infections and problems with her kidney throughout her life.

"She was always smiling and had a happy childhood and had lots of friends.

"She was mad on animals but was restrained by her allergies as to the pets she could have. She was a big lover of giraffes and adopted a giraffe from Chester Zoo for our son.

"Alison liked schools and her favourite subjects were maths and baking. She was a leader and a good planner."

Mrs Douglas was receiving help from Miranda House for the first time since her mental health severely declined in November 2018 following her cancer diagnosis in June of the same year.

She told staff there since her diagnosis she had to give up work, which made her feel "worthless and a waste of space" and she felt "overwhelmed by simple tasks".

At one point Mrs Douglas' anxiety got so bad she could not leave the house and she told professionals that her mental health was that bad it felt like she was having "acid thrown on her body".

Due to having three operations to remove the tumour, Mrs Douglas was worried about the future and had a loss of confidence and was not sleeping.

The inquest was heard at Hull Coroner's Court

A report was commissioned by Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in order to find out if the support Mrs Douglas received for her mental health problems was sufficient.

It was found that health professionals had done everything in their power to help her.

Senior coroner Professor Paul Marks found Mrs Douglas had ended her own life.

He said her death was "tragic and ironic" due to being clear of cancer and because it was "more likely than not that Alison would be alive and well 10 years hence" due to her prognosis.

"This is a most unfortunate case and I have considered the conclusion very carefully," he said.

"The key point in finding a conclusion of suicide is showing intent and that the deceased knew that their actions would result in the ending of their life.

"I have no doubt that Alison's actions showed that she intended to end her life, so I find a conclusion of suicide.

"It is tragic and ironic that it is more likely than not that due to being given the all clear, predictions showed Alison would still be here, alive and well 10 years hence."

Toxicology results showed that no alcohol or illicit drugs were found in Mrs Douglas' system and the medicated drugs including antidepressants detected were at a medicinal level.

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