An unbearable toothache led a tormented Lancashire woman to throw herself from a five-storey car park, an inquest has heard.
Receptionist Janette Warburton (58), from Blackpool, had been suffering with a severe toothache for over a year when she tragically felt she’d had enough.
The mother-of-two was suffering from depression brought on by the constant pain which began to spread to her temple, allowing her only an hour’s night’s sleep.
She was admitted to two hospitals for treatment but sent a series of text messages to her husband expressing the anguish she felt as she awaited treatment.
“It is what it is – the pain is unbearable”, one of her texts read. “I haven’t slept all night. My body is shutting down. I am being transferred to the heart ward cos they need the bed.”
Ten days later the 58-year-old was scheduled for a procedure to have one of her teeth removed. Instead she climbed to the fifth floor of a multi-storey car park where she jumped to her death.
She allegedly told a parking attendant not to stop her and that she “was going”, leaping from a height of 50 feet. Two notes were found at Janette’s home which expressed her desire not to live anymore.
An inquest this week rejected claims that the 58-year-old received inadequate healthcare treatment. Doctors had analysed the woman’s teeth but couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause of the distress.
Her husband has been critical of the NHS and doctors for failing to correctly diagnose the ache in her teeth.
“It seemed the NHS were short of beds, and now I am short of a wife”, husband David said.
“I was telling doctors how she felt – about the pain, the sleeping and the anxiety because of it. They said ‘go and see mental health,’ – why was that the first thing they offered her? Janette rightly said to me ‘I am not mental.’
“She was moved around loads and that was really upsetting for her. At one point she was moved to a cardiac ward though it was clear there were no issues with her heart and nobody believed she wasn’t sleeping. All they did was watch her and give her some medication – nothing that really found out what was wrong.
”When my wife walked out of the hospital she could barely stand and she was shaking all over. She had lost nearly two stone – she didn’t look like my bubbly wife.
“I said to the doctors ‘you aren’t letting my wife out – she is shaking’. But the doctor replied ‘you shake, I shake.’ How dare he say that? He told me to bring her back in a month and told me not to ring 999. He said all of this in front of my wife.”
David described the result of a year of torment which his late wife endured.
“The toothache was so bad I don’t think she knew what she was doing. A few weeks before we had been in the car driving home and she just opened the passenger door to get out, as I was driving at 35mph. I asked her what she was doing and all she said was ‘I am going.’
“She was not sleeping. She had anxiety – severe anxiety. She got to the point of feeling an outcast, bear in mind my wife was a sociable brilliant woman.
“She became terrified of night time because she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep because of the pain. We would put BBC radio on all night and listen to some stories on there. It was really scary.
“I left her to go tell the staff for a matter for 3-5 minutes and that was the last time I saw her alive. I should never left her on her own. The NHS are lacking beds and my wife paid the price. You just don’t expect this to happen – a tooth ache, or head ache, something that should be simple to fix, to turn into this.
“I really feel she has been let down by the NHS. She should not have been let out of hospital. She was clearly not ready to be sent home and a lack of beds and staff is no excuse. It seems she was picked on by the hospital to get rid of for a bed for someone else.
“Something needs to change so this never happens to anyone else’s wife, mother or child. Janette’s seven month old grandchild will never get to know her.
“My wife was a lovely, chatty bubbly person. She loved cycling, going on holiday, spending time with friends. She changed over the course of a few months so she was unrecognisable all because of a tooth and head ache which started a course of self-destruction.
“She was a brilliant mum and fantastic wife. We have spent 30 years together and she is the love of my life and it is so hard to be without my best friend. She was the life and soul.”
An inquest into her death found she had also maintained that she was not suicidal and that there were no “gross failings” in the 58-year-old’s care.