'Bubbly' nurse, 53, found dead after losing three limbs to sepsis

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
Jayne Carpenter was left with one limb when she developed sepsis four years ago while suffering with a cough. (Wales News)
Jayne Carpenter was left with one limb when she developed sepsis four years ago while suffering with a cough. (Wales News)

A nurse who lost both her legs and an arm after a cough turned to sepsis was found dead by her husband, an inquest heard.

Keen traveller Jayne Carpenter, 53, was left with just one limb when she developed sepsis four years ago, which later 'challenged her desire to live'.

Mrs Carpenter vowed to battle on by fundraising to get pioneering limb surgery not available on the NHS and raised more than £20,000 of her £265,000 target.

However, she said she was "not having quality of life but enduring it”.

An inquest heard her heartbroken husband Robert, 56, arrived at their home in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales, to find the body of his wife hanging, after he got a call from her asking to pick up their dog.

Jayne Carpenter vowed to battle on by fundraising to get pioneering limb surgery not available on the NHS. (Wales News)
Jayne Carpenter vowed to battle on by fundraising to get pioneering limb surgery not available on the NHS. (Wales News)

Mrs Carpenter was described as "an amazing person" by her husband, who added: "The brightest star in my sky has burnt out.”

In a statement to the inquest, Mr Carpenter said his wife was "happy, bubbly, sociable person" who had a passion for "travelling around the world" when they first met.

She was said to be desperate to lead an active life but independence had been "stripped overnight” as a result of sepsis, which she developed in 2016 after visiting the doctor with a cough.

In hospital, she was diagnosed with both pneumonia and sepsis and spent two months in a coma.

After her amputations, Mr Carpenter said his wife "put all her effort into regaining her life" and "she amazed us as a family".

He said that, as a sepsis awareness advocate, her experiences were used to "assist the education of medical students".

Jayne Carpenter was left with just one limb when she developed sepsis four years ago. (Wales News)
Jayne Carpenter was left with just one limb when she developed sepsis four years ago. (Wales News)

But in November 2019, he noticed "a sudden decline" in Mrs Carpenter’s mental health and she began drinking more alcohol, he said.

The inquest heard she twice tried to take her own life, while the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic stopped her from enjoying the things that were important to her.

Tests showed she had drunk "a large quantity of alcohol" n the day she died in December 2020, but police did not find a note stating her intention to take her own life.

Jayne Carpenter was diagnosed with both pneumonia and sepsis and spent two months in a coma. (Wales News)
Jayne Carpenter was diagnosed with both pneumonia and sepsis and spent two months in a coma. (Wales News)

Assistant coroner for South Wales Central, Dr Sarah-Jane Richards, said that "undoubtedly, her loss of limbs inflicted a life-changing loss to this previously healthy and active woman".

She added that her death was "in the context of traumatic, life-changing events having challenged her desire to live".

A coroner concluded a narrative verdict at the Merthyr inquest that Mrs Carpenter "died by self ligature in circumstances where her intention could not be discerned”.

For confidential emotional support contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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