Leeds mum, 48, died of chronic malnutrition and self-neglect, inquest hears

A Leeds mother died in hospital of chronic malnutrition and self-neglect, an inquest heard.

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 1:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 6:51 am
Michelle Ivy Dunn, 48, died in hospital earlier this month after a fall at her home on Cambrian Terrace.

Michelle Ivy Dunn, 48, died in hospital earlier this month after a fall at her home on Cambrian Terrace.

She was found by a carer on the morning of Saturday, October 26, and was admitted to hospital with suspected sepsis and an upper gastro-intestinal bleed attributed to chronic malnutrition.

Following a discussion with her sons, she was provided with end of life care until her death on Saturday, November 2.

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Michelle Dunn's inquest was held at Wakefield Coroner's Court.

She was described by her son, Luke Barrow, as “a fussy eater” who was concerned about her weight.

Mr Barrow had launched a JustGiving page to help support the family, which can be viewed here.

Ms Dunn, who worked as a carer, had previously been admitted to St. James's University Hospital in July after her malnutrition became so severe that she was unable to walk, but had returned home after seven weeks and appeared to be gaining weight.

Kevin McLoughlin, senior coroner at Wakefield Coroner’s court, noted that it was unclear whether Ms Dunn had been formally discharged from hospital or had discharged herself.

Michelle Ivy Dunn, 48, died in hospital earlier this month after a fall at her home on Cambrian Terrace. Photo: Luke Barrow

Following her return home, she was visited by her sons each week and appeared to be recovering prior to her fall, which was attributed to severe frailty as a result of chronic malnutrition, the inquest heard.

Referencing a statement given by Ms Dunn’s son, Mr McLoughlin said: “She was generally fit and well throughout most of her life, though she was concerned about being overweight and could be described as a fussy eater.

“There was a fracture in the family and her children became estranged for quite a few years and only recently regained contact. She was a heavy smoker and drinker but stopped drinking about six months before her death.

“In July 2019 she was admitted to hospital with malnutrition. This had reached the state where she had lost the ability to walk and had swollen feet and legs.

“After some seven weeks she left hospital, though it was unclear whether she was discharged or self-discharged.

“Following that her sons visited her each week. She appeared to be putting on some weight.

“On the 26 October a carer found her at her home following a fall and due to her severe frailty an ambulance was called.

“Michelle was admitted to hospital with suspected sepsis and upper gastro-intestinal bleed.

“Her condition was attributable to chronic malnutrition. After discussion she was provided with end of life care until her death on Saturday, November 2.”

Recording a conclusion of malnutrition and self-neglect, Mr McLoughlin offered his sympathies to Ms Dunn’s family.