Eleanor Rees was feeling unwell with a stomach bug when her family went to Trecco Bay holiday park in Porthcawl, Wales, and she died the next day, an inquest heard
Image: John Davies)
A mum who had been suffering from a stomach bug for several days, died suddenly while on holiday with her family at a holiday park, an inquest has heard.
Eleanor Rees, 35, suffered from mental health problems as well as having drinking dependency, and she said she was not feeling well before the family headed off to Trecco Bay holiday park in Porthcawl, Wales.
But when they arrived at the caravan park her condition quickly deteriorated and she died on March 5, 2019, reported WalesOnline.
Her partner, John Davies, had also become her main carer as she suffered from various illnesses such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, body dysmorphic disorder and was also an alcoholic, Pontypridd Coroner’s Court was told.
The couple had headed off for a break with her daughter and their son.
Mr Davies said sometimes Ms Rees, of Swansea, would drink two cans a day or maybe a bottle of wine during the evening, but other times it would vary.
“It would depend on her mental state of mind,” he said.
Mr Davies said she also started to develop issues with her body following the birth of their son.
He said: “She found that difficult. She didn’t like the way she was after she was pregnant. There were times when she would take laxatives because she was feeling overweight.
“Even when she was a size eight – there was one point she went down to a size six and I said ‘enough love – please stop this’.”
He told the inquest that before the trip to the caravan park, Ms Rees didn’t want to go because of the stomach bug and he didn’t think this was strange due to her anxiety.
During the trip in the car on March 4, she had appeared fine but when they arrived at the caravan park she complained of being tired and didn’t want to eat anything.
She remained in bed the next day and emergency services were called when she deteriorated.
A statement read on behalf of Ms Rees’s daughter said: “I think it may have been 4.30pm to 5pm I rang my gran because I was worried about mum.
“She was making some weird noises which I had never heard before. I had never heard anything like this from her before so I was getting quite worried.”
Later Mr Davies went back in the bedroom to check on his partner, and he called emergency services because she didn’t look right.
The inquest was told he asked her daughter: “Does mum look right to you?”
Describing what Ms Rees looked like at the time, Mr Davies said: “I could feel her hand feeling quite cold and clammy. I could see her hand going blue.
“I could see around her lips were blue. At the time she was breathing.”
Despite the help of the emergency services Ms Rees died that evening.
Ms Rees’s medical history revealed she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety and had been known to be alcohol dependent.
Dr Heather Cowie described her as a “very anxious” person, and clinical psychologist Dr Manon Griffiths also echoed these thoughts.
Dr Griffiths, who had worked with Ms Rees to support her with her mental health, said: “I feel we had a really good relationship.
“She found it difficult to accept her own body.
“She never felt understood. She went through her adulthood and younger years feeling she wasn’t understood. She admitted she was drinking more.”
Dr Griffiths said they had discussed ideas as to how to try and combat her issues with alcohol, but she was honest about it when she was struggling.”
Despite attempts from the paramedics who arrived at the scene, Ms Rees later died.
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When police arrived at the scene officers confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances, and Ms Rees did not appear injured in anyway.
Pathologist Dr Maurizio Brotto told the inquest that the evidence as to what caused the death seemed to be in keeping with fatality arising from alcohol-related ketoacidosis.
Ms Rees hardly ate or drank, aside from a little water, in the days leading up to her death due to the stomach bug, which would have had an impact.
Dr Brotto told the hearing if an ambulance had been called between the Sunday and Monday morning it could have been possible Ms Rees had a chance of surviving.
Coroner David Regan accepted that the death was in keeping with signs of “fatal ketoacidosis” as a result of alcohol withdrawal, but said Mr Davies did not show any neglect as a carer.
Mr Regan said: “I accept as a finding of fact that Mr Davies was advised to call an ambulance by Dr Griffiths. Mr Davies is not a clinician.
“He had sought other assistance by calling Dr Griffiths even though he didn’t follow her advice. I will record a conclusion that Eleanor died an alcohol-related death.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.