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Alison Stacey, Nicholas Bieber
22:31, 18 MAR 2017 Updated 09:51, 19 MAR 2017
An inquest heard that Carla Murtagh had initially wanted an abortion, but changed her mind two days before committing suicide.
A mum-of-seven suffering from depression took her own life just weeks after discovering she was pregnant again, an inquest heard.
Carla Murtagh, 34, from Birmingham, had booked an appointment to have an abortion, but later changed her mind and decided to keep the baby.
But nine days later the full time mum told her husband Matthew at home she wanted to ‘go upstairs and be left alone’, before being found hanged.
Birmingham Mail reports that the city’s coroner’s court heard how Carla was rushed to Heartlands Hospital by paramedics after Matthew found her, and A&E staff attempted to resuscitate her.
Doctors performed an emergency caesarian on the mum, who was 25 weeks pregnant at the time, but the baby was stillborn.
A short time later, Carla was pronounced dead by medics.
The inquest heard how she and Matthew already had seven children, aged between 15 years and 14 months.
They had been ‘shocked’ to find Carla was pregnant again in August 2016
Due to the size of their family, and considerations about Carla’s health, she had initially said she wanted an abortion.
“We were shocked because it wasn’t planned,” said husband Matthew. “She considered having an abortion because we already had so many children.
“She was upset, and we were discussing how we were going to have another baby.”
Carla, who suffered with conditions including depression, consulted her GP at the end of August about her pregnancy and told him she wanted an abortion.
After being referred to the BPAS termination service, she was only able to get appointments in Liverpool or Doncaster.
But on October 28, Carla was visited by midwife Donna Grey, who was able to arrange an appointment for her at a Marie Stopes clinic in Birmingham.
“When I went to her home that day she was very upset,” said the midwife.
“She wanted a termination. She was very unsure about her dates of the pregnancy.
“I spoke to Marie Stopes and they could offer her an appointment. After the consultation, she said, ‘Thank you. You’ve given me what I’ve been asking for, for a long time.”
But when the midwife saw Carla again on November 4, two days before her death, she found she had missed the appointment after deciding to have the baby after all.
“She told me they’d had a family discussion and decided to keep the baby,” Ms Grey said. “She seemed happy, and wanted to get an appointment for a scan.”
On the day of her death husband Matthew described how she had woken up in a “bad mood”, but had otherwise seemed fine.
Carla had started to cook a meal as the family was celebrating a birthday that day.
He had left the house with two of their children to buy a birthday cake from the supermarket.
When they returned, he said Carla had gone upstairs and was “acting quiet”.
“She went upstairs and told me that she wanted to be left alone,” he said. “I went downstairs to dish up the dinner and went up to get her.”
He found his wife hanged in the bedroom and called for help. He attempted CPR as paramedics arrived, and Carla was taken by ambulance to Heartlands Hospital.
A post-mortem examination later revealed she had alcohol, cannabis and antidepressant fluoxetine in her blood, a combination that could result in Central Nervous System Depression.
Following Carla’s death, the local Clinical Commissioning Group launched an investigation into her care, but no failures were found on the part of her GP or midwives.
Recording a verdict of suicide, Coroner Louise Hunt said: “This is a tragedy, and for the family I am so very sorry. It is very sad and you have had to sit through some difficult evidence.
“In time I hope you can remember the Carla you all loved and not in the sad way that she lost her life.”