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By Sophie Gidley
A loving husband who took a fatal overdose just hours after his wife died was found wrapped in her dressing gown and clutching her photograph.
Adrian Cross, 45, committed suicide at the couple’s home within hours of saying to his wife of 14 years, Tammy: “I won’t be long behind you”.
An inquest heard Mrs Cross, 37, was found having a fit in her bed at Llwyn Dic Penderyn, Georgetown, Merthyr Tydfil, on October 8. She was rushed to Prince Charles Hospital that afternoon but tragically passed away.
Having identified his wife, Mr Cross was found later that same evening in her bed, wearing her pink dressing gown and holding her photograph after taking a cocktail of drugs.
Both inquests for the couple, who married in the Dominican Republic in 1999, were heard together yesterday at Aberdare Coroner’s Court.
Fighting back tears as she spoke at the inquest, Adrian’s aunt Yvonne Thornley recalled the moment she saw Mr Cross at the hospital.
“I went up to the hospital and a nurse told me she had passed away. When I went in he was lying over Tammy,” she said.
“He said, ‘I’ll see you later Tam’. And I thought he meant he was going back up to the hospital, but obviously he didn’t.”
Asked by coroner Andrew Barkley whether she had heard Mr Cross say “I won’t be long behind you” and “I can’t live without you”, Mrs Thornley said: “Yeah, he was saying a lot of things like that.”
Mrs Cross’ sister, Dawn Jones, recalled what Mr Cross told her at the hospital.
“He said, ‘You know the score Dawn’,” Miss Jones said. “That meant he was going, but none of us thought he would do it then.
“He always said, ‘If anything happens, I’ll be straight behind her’.”
The inquest heard how Mr Cross was “devastated” at the loss of his wife, who had suffered with severe pain and breathing difficulties for the last three years due to anxiety. Last summer, she started having drastic weight loss, was constantly vomiting and in pain for months. She was prescribed medication by doctors and was due to have a bone scan but sadly died the week before her appointment.
Pathologist Dr David Stock said a post-mortem revealed the left arteries to Mrs Cross’ heart were severely narrow and she had scarring to her heart. A toxicology report also showed higher than prescribed levels of pain medication Oxycodone and anti-depressant Sertraline in her blood and urine. Dr Stock said both drugs could have affected the heart, and, coupled together, caused her death.
Her father, David Allan Jones, said his daughter may have taken more tablets than meant because she had been vomiting throughout the day and was concerned she wasn’t keeping the tablets down.
For Mrs Cross, the coroner recorded a narrative verdict due to an overdose of Oxycodone and Sertraline in a woman with coronary artery atheroma.
A toxicology report for Mr Cross showed fatal levels of painkillers and anti-depressants in his blood and urine. The coroner returned a verdict of suicide.