How illness destroyed a lovely wife
30 August 2010
By Sarah Kelly
A DEVOTED husband has paid tribute to his "lovely" wife who was destroyed by manic depression.
Michael Geall discovered Karen Geall in a pool of blood at their home in Hebden Bridge in the early hours of New Year's Day last year.
An inquest at Halifax heard the 61-year-old had slashed her neck, wrists and leg.
Mr Geall said: "She was a lovely person. Everyone thought the world of her."
She was friendly and chatted to people."
Mrs Geall was well known in Hebden Bridge and had worked in the town-centre Co-op.
She was also a trained nurse but gave up her post to take care of the couple's two sons.
She and Mr Geall had been married for 35 years.
He said the news of her death had shocked many who did not realise she had been battling bipolar disorder for many years.
"It destroyed her," he said.
The inquest heard Mrs Geall was taken to hospital on Christmas Eve after overdosing on valium and anti-depressants.
Following a psychiatric assessment, she was discharged the next day and returned home. She had been offered a crisis bed where she would receive 24-hour care but had refused.
She was visited by a mental-health nurse several times over the next week to discuss her condition and treatment plan.
The couple celebrated New Year's Eve at a friend's house.
But when Mr Geall woke the next day, he discovered his wife dead downstairs.
In a statement read at the inquest he said: "I remember saying 'My God. What have you done now?'
"I didn't every think she would take her life so violently.
"If she did it I thought it would be with tablets or alcohol."
Mr Geall said his wife used to sit, rocking and screaming that she wanted to die.
He said he had told the hospital when they rang to say she could be discharged that he couldn't cope with looking after her.
Coroner Roger Whittaker recorded that Mrs Geall took her own life while the balance of her mind was disturbed.
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- Last Updated: 30 August 2010 8:16 AM
- Source: n/a
- Location: Halifax