‘Amazing’ midwife dies after ‘taking accidental painkiller overdose’ for fractured ribs
A midwifery assistant died after likely taking an accidental painkiller overdose for fractured ribs, an inquest heard.
Grandmother Jane Parkinson was found dead at her home in Endeavour Crescent, east Hull, East Yorkshire, on June 7 last year.
The 54-year-old had injured herself in a fall, and had already been taking the medication for chronic back pain.
Despite that, she held down a demanding job delivering babies at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital and also looked after 27 homeless cats, reports HullLive.
At a coroners hearing on Thursday, Jane was described as “an amazing woman with a zest for life”.
Afterwards, her daughter Zoe paid an emotional tribute to her mum who she said had “always put others first”.
Zoe said: “I just want to say how loved she was and how much she was loved by so many people. She just cared so much for everyone and always put others first, including animals.
“At work she looked after babies, at home she looked after animals and the rest of the time she was looking after her family. That’s just the person she was.”
The inquest in Hull also heard much about Jane’s strong character despite her battle with daily pain.
She grew up in the port city as the youngest of four children and always had an active social life and had many friends.
She was a mum-of-three and a grandmother of two – the latest addition sadly coming after her death.
Jane married and had three children. Sadly, the marriage did not last but it was an amicable break up.
In a statement, Jane’s sister said: “Jane had real personality and real strength. She landed her dream job as a midwifery assistant.
“She described giving birth as one of the most important and transformative events in a woman’s life and she was proud she could be a part of that for so many of women.
“She always had many animals and looked after them for an animal charity. She had a cattery in her garden and we always joked she was like Ace Ventura.
“Jane was an incredibly kind, loving, caring and funny person,” she added.
Jane suffered from a compression of the spine which meant she was on painkillers and anti-depressants.
Two weeks before her death she tripped in the alleyway in the garden of her home and fractured her ribs.
She decided to make an appointment with the doctor for more pain relief.
After consultation, the doctors agreed to provide her with morphine-based painkillers after checking against the medication she was already described.
Jane had been prescribed the painkillers previously and she had always managed her medication effectively and responsibly.
However, three days afterwards, she was found dead at home.
During her post-mortem, samples were taken for toxicology analysis which found an “excessive amount” of morphine, along with raised levels of anti-depressants.
However, there was no suggestion Jane had deliberately taken an overdose or had abused her medication in any way.
Giving evidence, daughter Zoe insisted there were no concerns with her mum’s mental health and she was adamant her mum had no intention of ending her own life and that she had never abused her medication.
Area coroner Lorraine Harris agreed and ruled out suicide.
She also decided against ‘drug-related’ as a conclusion, due to the fact there was no suggestion Jane had abused her medication.
Instead she concluded Jane’s death was due to ‘misadventure’.
In addressing the family, Mrs Harris said: “Jane seems like an amazing woman and she has left you all with so many wonderful memories. Hopefully, you can now concentrate on those.
“She was clearly someone who had a zest for life and touched so many lives through helping people and the work she did. She loved her family and her family loved her.
“I understand how much love and laughter she brought to your lives.”