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Neath tumour sufferer Sarah Thomas died hours after paramedics’ visit

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

Sarah Thomas

A DENTAL nurse who battled with the after-effects of a brain tumour died at her Neath home hours after she was seen by paramedics, an inquest heard.

Sarah Elise Thomas, 30, died on May 5 in 2007 at her home in School Road, Tonna.

Following operations on her brain tumour Miss Thomas continued to suffer from migraines and nausea and was left partially sighted, the court heard.

On the first day of the six-day hearing held in Neath, her father Kenneth Thomas gave evidence.

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He said on May 4 he had been unwell with diarrhoea, and later that day Sarah also became ill.

“She said she felt unwell and said she was going to her room for a while,” he said.

Mr Thomas said this was not unusual, and later she told him she had been sick.

He said that as it was the Friday before a bank holiday they felt they should call a GP.

Dr Gwen Kahan attended and undertook checks and prescribed antibiotics which Mr Thomas went to fetch.

Mr Thomas said Sarah then slept on their bed as it was close to the en-suite.

He said: “At 10pm I asked her if she was well enough to go to her bedroom.” She did and he slept until she appeared at the door at around 1am saying that she had called for an ambulance.

“Sarah looked very distressed and could hardly speak,” said Mr Thomas.

Two ambulance crew members attended and Mr Thomas said Sarah asked them for oxygen.

“They said that was the last thing she needed because she was hyperventilating,” he said. “At that point she collapsed.”

The two paramedics David Glover and Michael Davies took her to her parent’s bedroom.

Mr Thomas said: “She was conscious but was not with it totally. She was complaining of pain and complaining because she wanted oxygen.”

Mr Thomas told the hearing there was a discussion about hospitals, but the paramedics said “You are better off here Sarah, this is the best place for you.”

When further questioned about this Mr Thomas said: “We were persuaded in their arguments that she was in the best place and she did not need to be sitting in an ambulance. We accepted the situation as it was.”

The paramedics left and Mr Thomas said they had been there for around half an hour.

At 3am Miss Thomas returned to her own bedroom. “She walked unaided,” said Mr Thomas.

He said at 3.45am he heard her go into the bathroom and his wife, who had stayed downstairs, said ‘‘Are you OK Sarah?’’ to which she replied ‘‘Yes I’m OK I’m going in here, it’s cooler in the bathroom’’. Mr Thomas said he woke at 7.30am, went downstairs but later found her in the bathroom motionless. Paramedics were called but she was pronounced dead.

Evidence from the paramedics, GP, and pathologist has yet to be heard.

The inquest continues today.

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