Natalie Hughes was described as a loving mum who raised money for deprived children but was struck with severe post-natal depression
A “beautiful” mother-of-four who had fundraised for deprived children took her own life during a bout of postal natal depression, an inquest has heard.
Natalie Hughes, 34, split with the father of her children after she became severely unwell following the birth of their fourth child.
The couple had been together for 15 years but broke up last year during her strugge with her mental health.
An inquest into her death held in Bolton heard Natalie Hughes was “beautiful inside and out,”the Manchester Evening News reported.
She and the father of her kids Sean Dawson had been living apart for 11 weeks, when Miss Hughes, a barmaid, wrote a suicide note saying: “Please don’t think I am a coward, I just couldn’t take it anymore.”
Mr Dawson became concerned about her welfare, and found her hanged from a stairwell at her home in Golborne, near Wigan, on October 28.
She was taken to hospital with fatal injuries and died later, with tests showing she had taken multiple painkillers.
The hearing was told that Miss Hughes – a former hairdresser described as “beautiful inside and out” – had met Mr Dawson in 2003 and they had four children together
But she suffered from post-natal depression after the birth of her fourth child and had been prescribed anti-depressants.
Her father Thomas Hughes told the inquest: ”She was a very fun, loving person who was heavily involved in her community. She did a lot of fundraisers for deprived children in the area.
”She loved her family, her children in particular, and she enjoyed walking the dog. But she was suffering with post-natal depression and was prescribed for this
“On or around October 28, Sean and Natalie had some form of disagreement and that upset Natalie. Natalie still went to her normal shift that day, but she came home ill from work.
Sean went to the address some time later, but he didn’t stay for very long. He then came back a little later where he found Natalie. Emergency services attended, but she was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.”
Mr Dawson said: “We were in a relationship for around 15 years apart from the last 11 weeks where the relationship broke down. We had four children and the family home was in Golborne. Since she had our fourth child, she was very low in her mood.
”She was anxious about leaving the house and she saw her GP who diagnosed her with post-natal depression and she was given medication for this in January 2018.
“During our separation, I resided in a different property. When she ran out of her Citalopram her mood changed, but she was back to normal after getting more medication.
On October 28, she was having a bad morning and went to work. I have a tracking app on my phone and I could see that she was at the Golborne address rather than at work. I contacted her via text message and she said she went home because she wasn’t feeling well. She said that she had taken some paracetamol.
“I came over and the door was unlocked and she was in bed upstairs. I found [paracetamol tablets] with half missing. I told her off for taking the paracetamol and then we stayed in bed together talking until 6pm. She begged me not to call the emergency services or her mum, and said she had vomited some of them out.
“At her request, I left the property at 6pm and I went back to my property to tend to our children. I rang her at 6.15 to check up on her and I received a text message from her telling not to bring the children back.
“I stayed with the kids and gave them their tea at 6:45pm. I tried calling her again, but she didn’t respond, so I gave it around 10 minutes before I went to her address. At around 7:05pm, I sadly found her.”
When asked whether Mr Dawson should have alerted Miss Hughes’ mother about the level of paracetamol being taken, he replied: “Do you not think that I have thought that for the last 21 weeks? She said to me ‘don’t call my Mum or I won’t speak to you again.’
”It was only eight paracetamol and she begged me not to rang her mum.”
Miss Hughes’ GP, Dr Madhu Pal, said: “She was a 34 year old woman who suffered from anxiety and she received Citalopram for this on January 17, 2018. She had been feeling anxious for 14 months and she was suffering from post-natal depression.
“I next saw her on January 29 where I undertook a depression test questionnaire on her and she never mentioned feeling suicidal. She reported that she felt stressed due to her partner leaving and she was advised to seek counselling, but she didn’t want this.”
Pathologist, Dr Naveen Sharma, said toxicology tests showed Miss Hughes had an amount of paracetamol in her system that far exceeded the therapeutic dosage.
Stefan Wilson, police coroner’s officer, said: “A note was found at the property in Natalie’s hand writing and it expressed her intention to take her own life. In the note she said ‘please don’t think I am a coward, I just couldn’t take it anymore.’”
Recording a conclusion of suicide, Rachel Syed said: “Natalie was a loving mother who was doted on by her family but we heard evidence she suffered from anxiety and post-natal depression and was using Citalopram.
“On the day of her death, she was struggling and she consumed high levels of paracetamol and codeine and I don’t believe this was an accident.
“It’s clear from Sean Dawson’s evidence that she didn’t want him to call the emergency services.
He became concerned for her welfare and he came back to her property and found her hanging from the staircase bannister.
“I don’t believe this was an accident so I must ask if this was a suicide. In her own words, she couldn’t take it anymore. So, I must return a suicide conclusion.”
At the time of her death friends said Miss Hughes was well known figure at a local Muay Thai gym and raised money for various charities.
Family friend Stuart Sable said: “She had a massive heart for others and was loved by everybody who knew her.
She has four beautiful children that are left without their mummy also a grieving husband and family. She was one in a million.”
Helplines and websites
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected] .
Childline (0800 1111 ) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a national charity supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information. http://www.depressionalliance.org/
Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying. http://studentsagainstdepression.org/
The Sanctuary (0300 003 7029 ) helps people who are struggling to cope – experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks or in crisis. You can call them between 8pm and 6am every night.