Woman dies of natural occurring illness

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A WIGAN woman who suffered from severe diabetes and alcohol dependency died after collapsing at a friend’s house.

An inquest recorded that Sharon Ledwith died as a result of a natural occurring disease – diabetic ketoacidosis – aided by chronic alcoholism and hypothermia.

The inquest, led by deputy coroner Alan Walsh, heard that the 47-year-old, of Masefield Drive, Worsley Mesnes, had not been seen for four days, as she sheltered at the home of her friend, Sean O’Donnell.

In a statement, Mr O’Donnell said as the mother-of-four had no permanent address, she would often stay with him.

He knew she was a heavy drinker, and would consume cheap cans of strong beer or cider.

On Friday, November 23 Ms Ledwith stayed over and had a few drinks. As he was going away for the weekend, he left her alone in the house the following day. On his return on Tuesday, November 27, he discovered Ms Ledwith collapsed on the living room floor, semi-conscious.

Her body temperature had dropped and she had severe breathing difficulties.

She was rushed to Wigan Infirmary and despite attempts to resuscitate her, she died.

Ms Ledwith’s son, Christian, who lived a few doors away from her in Masefield Drive, said as his mum was not taking the correct medication, he took care of her insulin so he could administer it daily, but had not seen her for four days.

He was increasingly concerned about her alcohol dependency, saying: “She had a big problem with alcohol and had been in intensive care a few times.”

She had been admitted to hospital in 2011 suffering from confusion and slurred speech, but doctors said she had no significant mental health issues. She had sought help and she admitted to having her diabetes under control.

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Walsh said: “Ms Ledwith died as a result of a naturally occurring disease with a background of failure to take medication and chronic alcoholism. Christian did all he could.”