Nurse ‘stripped of independence’ hung herself after losing three limbs to sepsis

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A nurse was found hanged by her husband after she lost three limbs to sepsis, an inquest heard.

Jayne Carpenter, 53, had gone to the doctor with a simple cough in 2016 but was later diagnosed with pneumonia in hospital.

The infection became sepsis and she spent two months in a coma.

The hospital nurse had to have her left arm amputated below the elbow, as well as have both legs and four fingers removed from her right hand.

Her husband Rob Carpenter, 56, told at inquest that she had ‘put all her effort into regaining her life’ and ‘she amazed us as a family’ with the progress she has made.

But, in November 2019, her family noticed a sudden decline’ in her mental health and she began drinking more, he said.

Prior to her suicide, the inquest heard she had twice made attempts on her life with an overdose as she had begun struggling in lockdown with the restrictions that stopped her from enjoying the things important to her.

One December 7, 2020, Rob Carpenter got a call from his wife asking to pick up their dog.

He arrived at their house in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, later that afternoon to discover her hanged.

Toxicology reports after her death showed she had drunk ‘a large quantity of alcohol’ but police did not find a note stating her intention to take her own life.

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The heartbroken husband described his wife as ‘an amazing person’ and that she was ‘happy, bubbly, and sociable’ with a passion for travelling.

He said at Merthyr Tydfil Coroner’s Court: "The brightest star in my sky has burnt out."

Jayne was said to be desperate to lead an active life but her independence had been ‘stripped overnight’.

She had been trying to raise money to have life-changing limb surgery that is not available on the NHS.

On her GoFundMe page, she had reached £20,000 of the £265,000 she needed.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is not a common infection, but it can be very serious.

If left untreated it can lead to multiple organ failure, and in worse cases death.

The fatal infection is estimated to kill six million people worldwide annually.

Symptoms of sepsis can vary between people, and specifically depending on the age of the person.

They're typically flu-like side effects like shivering, fever, confusion and vomiting.

The NHS says young children should be rushed to hospital if they – look mottled, bluish or pale, are lethargic or difficult to wake, have breathing difficulties, are abnormally hot or cold, have fits or have a rash that doesn't fade when you press it.

For more information, visit the NHS website.

The description reads: "The surgery will enable me to live the life of an able-bodied person.

"All the things I loved doing and my independence were stripped from me overnight.

"The prosthetic provision is not sufficient to allow me to live the active life I want to lead. This to me is not having a quality of life but enduring it."

Assistant Coroner for South Wales Central, Dr Sarah-Jane Richards said that Jayne Carpenter ‘died by self-ligature in circumstances where her intention could not be discerned’.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

  • NHS
  • Family
  • Courts
  • Inquests

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