31/03/2008

Second Family 'Betrayed' By Health Care

Just days after it was revealed that a mother - Madeline O'Neill took her own life after killing her daughter, Lauren - had confided in health professionals about her intentions, it has emerged that a teenage girl who was banned from her home by the authorities overdosed on anti-depressants.

An inquest has been told that medical reports said 16-year-old Emma Canning Curran from Craigavon suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

She had allegedly tried to take an overdose weeks before she died.

Before a court order prevented her from returning home, she had been running away and there had been a series of domestic rows.

Although Emma appeared to be fine the night before she died, she told her cousin of her hurt following restrictions on seeing her mother Lesley Curran, 46, and stepfather Patrick Curran, 62.

She was living at the home of her aunt when she was discovered not breathing and sprawled across her bed in Irwin Gardens.

Despite frantic efforts to resuscitate her she was pronounced dead a short time later in

hospital.

State Pathologist Professor Jack Crane said a dose as low as 10 anti-depressant tablets could have caused the heart irregularities which killed her.

Speaking after the inquest, her mother said she felt betrayed: "The system let me down, if they had listened to me she would still be here today.

"I will always remember that she loved me and that she spoke to me every day to give me

strength to go on."

A spokeswoman for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said it had acted promptly to carry out work on areas identified for improvement in the case management review.

Coroner Suzanne Anderson said: "She didn't give any indication that she intended to take her own life. I am not so sure that this was not a cry for help from Emma, a cry for help and

understanding."

See: Minister Apologies For Health Department's Tragic Failure

(BMcC)




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