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British nurse takes her own life after cough leaves her an amputee

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

Keen traveller Jayne Carpenter, 53, was left with just one limb when she developed sepsis four years ago while suffering with a simple cough.

Courageous Jayne vowed to battle on by fundraising to get pioneering limb surgery not available on the NHS.

She had raised over £20,000 of her £265,000 target – but said she was “not having quality of life but enduring it.”

Keen traveller Jayne Carpenter, 53, was left with just one limb. Credit: Wales News Service/Australscope

An inquest heard her heartbroken husband Rob, 56, got a call from Jayne asking to pick up their dog.

He arrived at the house in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, at 4.30pm to find her dead.

Jayne was described as “an amazing person” by Robert at the inquest – and said: “The brightest star in my sky has burnt out.”

Dedicated Jayne was desperate to lead an active life but independence had been “stripped overnight.”

Jayne Carpenter had her independence stripped overnight.
Jayne Carpenter had her independence stripped overnight. Credit: Wales News Service/Australscope

In a statement to the inquest, he said she was “happy, bubbly, sociable person” who had a passion for “travelling around the world” when they first met.

In 2016, she developed sepsis after going to the doctor with a cough.

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

After her amputations, 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”.

An inquest heard her heartbroken husband Rob, 56, got a call from Jayne asking to pick up their dog.
An inquest heard her heartbroken husband Rob, 56, got a call from Jayne asking to pick up their dog. Credit: Wales News Service/Australscope

But, in November 2019, he noticed “a sudden decline” in Jayne’s mental health and she began drinking more alcohol, he said.

The inquest heard she twice took an overdose – and the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic stopped her from enjoying the things that were important to her.

On the day she died in December 2019 , tests showed she had drunk “a large quantity of alcohol” but police did not find a note stating her intention to take her own life.

Assistant Coroner for South Wales Central, Dr Sarah-Jane Richards, said “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.

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.


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

Keen traveller Jayne Carpenter, 53, was left with just one limb when she developed sepsis four years ago while suffering with a simple cough.

Courageous Jayne vowed to battle on by fundraising to get pioneering limb surgery not available on the NHS.

She had raised over £20,000 of her £265,000 target – but said she was “not having quality of life but enduring it.”

Keen traveller Jayne Carpenter, 53, was left with just one limb.
Keen traveller Jayne Carpenter, 53, was left with just one limb. Credit: Wales News Service/Australscope

An inquest heard her heartbroken husband Rob, 56, got a call from Jayne asking to pick up their dog.

He arrived at the house in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, at 4.30pm to find her dead.

Jayne was described as “an amazing person” by Robert at the inquest – and said: “The brightest star in my sky has burnt out.”

Dedicated Jayne was desperate to lead an active life but independence had been “stripped overnight.”

Jayne Carpenter had her independence stripped overnight.
Jayne Carpenter had her independence stripped overnight. Credit: Wales News Service/Australscope

In a statement to the inquest, he said she was “happy, bubbly, sociable person” who had a passion for “travelling around the world” when they first met.

In 2016, she developed sepsis after going to the doctor with a cough.

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

After her amputations, 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”.

An inquest heard her heartbroken husband Rob, 56, got a call from Jayne asking to pick up their dog.
An inquest heard her heartbroken husband Rob, 56, got a call from Jayne asking to pick up their dog. Credit: Wales News Service/Australscope

But, in November 2019, he noticed “a sudden decline” in Jayne’s mental health and she began drinking more alcohol, he said.

The inquest heard she twice took an overdose – and the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic stopped her from enjoying the things that were important to her.

On the day she died in December 2019 , tests showed she had drunk “a large quantity of alcohol” but police did not find a note stating her intention to take her own life.

Assistant Coroner for South Wales Central, Dr Sarah-Jane Richards, said “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.

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

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