Tragic death of Wigan woman battling post-traumatic stress disorder

A Wigan woman thought to have post-traumatic stress disorder was found dead at home just hours after having a nightmare, an inquest heard.
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Chloe McMahon, 26, phoned her ex-partner in the early hours of October 24, expressing concern after a bad dream.

Jake Worswick told an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court that he reassured her everything was okay and told her to go back to sleep, with no inkling of what was about to happen.

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For less than four hours later, he did not get an answer when he went to Chloe’s home in Goose Green and knocked loudly on the door.

He raised the alarm and Chloe was found collapsed in the hallway of the house. An ambulance was called and paramedics attended, but they confirmed she had died.

The inquest heard Chloe had a “traumatic” childhood and had taken overdoses as a teenager, but her mum Lisa McMahon believed they were a “cry for help” rather than serious attempts to end her life.

Chloe was twice referred to mental health services and made progress, with no further incidents of self-harm.

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But the court heard she continued to have nightmares and suffered from anxiety, which were likely to have been symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

She had GP appointments during 2022, when she was prescribed anti-depressants to help improve her mood and tablets to help her sleep.

It was suggested her vivid dreams could be PTSD and that she should seek therapy to help in the longer term.

She denied having any thoughts of suicide when she spoke to a mental health practitioner on October 13, but failed to attend an appointment five days later.

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The court also heard she had a medical issue, which was drawn out but eventually resolved, and she was upset after the death of her aunt in August.

Her mum Lisa told the court about receiving a phone call from Chloe at 2.30am one day during the summer, when she was having a panic attack.

She went to her house to check on her and saw what she believed was a method of attempting suicide, but Chloe said she would not have used it.

Ms McMahon said she last spoke to her daughter by FaceTime on the evening of October 23, when she was at a neighbour’s house having Sunday dinner, and she seemed to be fine.

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She went home at around 11pm and CCTV footage showed no-one else entering or leaving the property until her body was found.

A post-mortem examination found Chloe died by hanging.

Assistant coroner Stephen Teasdale said he could not be sure she intended to end her life, particularly due to the suspected PTSD.

"I think it is quite difficult to determine what her specific intention was at that particular time, given her background,” he said.

He recorded a narrative conclusion that she died by hanging but her intentions were unclear.

If you need to talk to someone, call Samaritans for free at any time on 116 123.

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