Tragic mum refused help

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A WIGAN mum who had started taking drugs during her mid-teens and refused medical help, died after contracting an infection which spread to her lungs.

An inquest held by area coroner Alan Walsh, recorded that Hayley Franklin died as a result of misusing illicit intravenous drugs which had caused leg ulcers.

The Beech Hill 33-year-old was addicted to cocaine and heroin, regularly injecting herself – and it was a habit that started while at high school.

At the age of 22, she developed the leg ulcers but always refused to seek proper treatment, insisting on dressing the sores herself.

The mother-of-one was rushed into Wigan Infirmary on September 2 after vomiting blood.

The hearing was told she looked unkempt after smoking heroin and was deemed as “un co-operative,” but medically fit.

But her condition soon deteriorated, and she had to have an endoscopy and blood transfusion, but refused to give blood samples.

She was pale and dehydrated and was transferred to intensive care on September 10, where she died a day later.

She also had Hepatitis C due to injecting illegal substances.

Lindsey Bullough, tissue viability nurse at Wigan Infirmary, saw Ms Franklin when she was admitted and noted that her bandages, which she put on herself 10 days earlier, had been poorly applied.

As a result, there was a natural infestation of maggots on the bandages and wounds.

She started to put on new dressings, but Ms Franklin stopped her half way though and wanted to do it herself.

Ms Bullough said: “If she was using intravenous drugs, it can reduce the immune system and cause ulcerations.

“If you don’t apply the correct bandages in the correct way, with the right form of treatment, it will increase the risk of infection.”

Ms Franklin’s GP, Dr Jayne Davies, of Boston House, also spoke at the hearing, saying she refused to engage with community nurses and did not follow up with appointment at clinics with regards to her ulcers.

Her mum, Dawn, was devastated at the turn of events, describing her daughter as “bright and talented” and a former grade A student.

She said: “If she had done what she was told at the beginning, the ulcers would have disappeared.

“I tried to help by setting her up in a flat and tried to break her relationships with those using drugs.

“She would not accept help.”

The inquest also heard that Ms Franklin was seeking treatment with Greater Manchester West drug and alcohol team and Addaction.

She had successfully withdrawn from the drugs between 2010 and 2012, in an attempt to keep her son, who is now six and has been since adopted.

But she returned back to the habit once her partner, who was also a drug user, was released from prison earlier this year.

Dr Jonathan Dewhurst, lead consultant at Greater Manchester West’s alcohol and drug team, said: “She probably stood a chance in 2010, but she could not escape from the lifestyle.

“Her partner and stress of her son was the final straw leading to her addiction.”

Daphne Deen, operational manager at Addaction, confirmed that Ms Franklin was positive about her treatment, but missed appointments.

A post-mortem examination revealed that the ulcers, which formed after she injected heroin, led to an infection which spread to the lungs, resulting the main cause of death – bronchopneumonia.

Hepatitis C was also a contributing factor to her condition.

In concluding the inquest Mr Walsh said: “To die at 33 is such a waste, particularly as she could have had a good future with her A status as a student.

“She did what she wanted to do and health professionals were extremely frustrated. They could have helped, but she had to co-operate, She had a lot of chances but a combination of strong independent views and her chaotic lifestyle led to her death.”