Diabetic Blackpool mum, 29, died one day after suffering low blood sugar and vomiting

A Blackpool mum choked on her own vomit after suffering pneumonia and a stomach infection.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 9:36 am
Cheryl Linaker

Cheryl Linaker, 29, was found unresponsive at her Crummock Place home by her stepdad on the evening of March 23.

Her family had become worried as she was not answering her phone.

Paramedics were called and CPR carried out - but Miss Linaker’s airway was blocked by vomit.

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Miss Linaker was taken to Blackpool Vic, but her life could not be saved

She was taken by ambulance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she was pronounced dead later that night.

At her inquest at Blackpool Town Hall on Tuesday, Blackpool Victoria pathologist Dr Dariusz Golka said the mum-of-two had died from acute respiratory failure, caused by bronchal pneumonia, an acute inflammation of the stomach lining, and aspiration - the drawing of stomach content into the lungs.

He said: “She was found with her airway blocked by vomit, which is always a very risky situation which can lead to asphyxia and damaging the lungs.

“The brain was swollen, which is one of the indicators of asphyxia, and there were some tests to show she was in hypoxia (a condition in which the body is deprived of adequate oxygen).

“The airway was cleared by the time she was in the hospital... but the tests showed some damage confirming gastric content aspirated into her lungs.”

The court heard that the day before she died, Miss Linaker, a type one diabetic, had suffered a hypo attack, caused by low blood sugar, and had vomited.

Her mum Carol said: “She phoned me up; she couldn’t walk, she had been sick everywhere. That was at 9am on the Friday.

“It was all in her bed, I had to clean her up and get her into a bath.

“I cleaned everything up, stripped all the bedding off, and I left about 2pm. I said I would give her a ring later on.

“Once I got her sorted and washed her hair and got her something to eat and drink to bring her blood sugars up, she was okay.”

She said she spoke to her daughter at around 7.30pm shortly after she had dropped her children off at their father’s house.

Miss Linaker then went out socialising with friends and is believed to have taken some cocaine during the night, though Dr Golka said the amount found in her system was non-fatal.

However, he believed the drug contributed to her death.

“Cocaine, as we know, is an illegal drug and it was present, however the levels of cocaine were not in the fatal range,” he said.

“On the other hand, the life of cocaine is relatively short.

“The levels decrease quite quickly.

“The low cocaine levels may not be a reliable indicator of the amount ingested.”

Handing down a narrative conclusion, coroner Alan Wilson said: “A known diabetic, Cheryl Linaker reported that she had suffered a hypo attack and vomiting during the morning of Friday, March 22. Her condition seemingly improved during the day and she is known to have left that evening socialising, and has most likely used some cocaine.

“At approximately 5.45pm on March 23 she was found unresponsive in cardiac arrest in her bed at home.

“Paramedics attended and found her airways blocked.

“She was taken to hospital and despite life-saving measures she could not be saved, and was pronounced dead.” .”that evening.”