Tilney St Lawrence woman who killed herself after overdosing on prescribed medication suffered from depression for 10 years, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 16:16 02 July 2012

A father paid tribute to his “popular” daughter at an inquest into her death today.

Barry Ward also told the inquest hearing that his daughter Antonia June Ward had carried a donor card and he hoped her organs would be used to help transform the lives of others.

The 27-year-old was found by her father in her bed at their home in Tilney St Lawrence on March 18 after she had taken an overdose of her prescribed medication.

Speaking during the inquest at King’s Lynn County Court, Mr Ward said: “She was very artistic and had lots of friends. Even some of her old school friends were still in touch because she was always very popular.

“She was doing a foundation course for nursing at college which she really enjoyed doing and would have led to her studying to become a paramedic.

“Toni, like the rest of the family, always carried a donor card because we all felt if something happened to us and our organs could be used, then they should be.”

Mr Ward said the evening before his daughter was pronounced dead, she had enjoyed a night out with her friends in King’s Lynn.

“They were hoping to go to a nightclub and I was asked to pick her up at 3am but she called me at about 1am to say they weren’t going to the nightclub anymore so I picked her up and brought her home,” Mr Ward continued.

“She would normally have come in to chat with my wife and I but my wife was fast asleep so she went straight up to sleep.

“The next day we weren’t too worried about waking her up because she never got up too early after a late night. When it got to 1pm, I thought I would go and wake her and found her lying in bed. I couldn’t wake her and she wasn’t breathing.

“There were some empty packets of her tablets on the floor but I didn’t take note of that because she wasn’t known for being tidy and thought she just had thrown them on the floor after using them.”

Mr Ward told the court his daughter, who was born in Hammersmith, had been diagnosed with depression in 2002 and taken two overdoses between then and 2006.

Recording a verdict of suicide while suffering from depression, Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong said the Tilney St Lawrence resident had seen her doctor a few weeks before her death and had not expressed any intention of ending her life.

He continued: “The history of the family is unhappy. Toni, as everyone knew her, had an older sister who died in an RTC [road traffic collision] some five years ago.

“She had suffered from depression since 2002 but her depression got worse after Stephanie’s death.”

He later added: “She was a bubbly, outgoing and popular woman.”

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