Thatcham MS sufferer ‘fought to remain positive’ — (Newbury Today)

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Newbury Today

Sunday, 14th Jul 2013

Reporter: John Garvey Chief Reporter

Email: Contact: 01635 886628

A FAMILY has told of the heartbreaking moment a wife and mother gave up her long fight against a devastating neurological condition.

An inquest in Newbury yesterday (Wednesday) heard how 57-year-old Lorraine May Babic had bravely hidden the emotional cost of her symptoms, having suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since the age of 20.

On March 8 this year, Mrs Babic decided to “take control” by ending her own life

After the hearing, her husband Michael, a 57-year-old operations manager at Mixing Solutions in Hambridge Lane, Newbury, paid tribute to his childhood sweetheart who, he said, had reached the limit of her endurance.

Daughter Lizzy, aged 28, who shared the family home in Horne Road, Thatcham, told the inquest: “I had taken the day off work and was having a lazy day at home. It was just me and Mum at home, Dad had gone to work at 7am.”

She explained how she had later searched for her mother upstairs and been horrified to find her hanging in an en suite bathroom.

Paramedics were unable to revive her and a post mortem later confirmed the cause of death as hanging.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Her GP, Dr Michael Morgan of Burdwood Surgery in Thatcham, outlined in a statement how Mrs Babic had fought to stay positive in the face of numerous symptoms including “fatigue, memory loss, slurred speech, muscle spasms, difficulty eating and swallowing, clumsiness and disturbed taste.”

He said Mrs Babic had been prescribed the anti-depressant drug Prozac for low mood.

Mr Babic said that, throughout it all, his wife – “a spiritual person, a woman of faith” – had raised their daughters and enjoyed hobbies as diverse as sewing, drawing, painting and embroidery.

But, he added: “She was increasingly becoming too tired for all that, even after a couple of minutes. Lorraine had suffered from MS since she was 20 and in recent years her pain had worsened. She had difficulty eating and her weight had dropped to around four stone. Her outlook was pretty bleak and I believe that preyed on her mind.”

He added: “I think – just for that moment – everything caught up with her. She was at the end of her tether and, in that fraction of a second, she thought: ‘I’m going to take control of this situation.’”

Assistant deputy Berkshire coroner Anna Burnside recorded that Mrs Babic “took her own life while in considerable pain due to MS”.

Afterwards Mr Babic paid loving tribute to the girl he grew up with and courted in South Wales before marrying and moving to Thatcham.

Daughters Lizzy, aged 28, and 31-year-old Sarah described a “wonderful mother and grandmother.”

Lizzy added: “She was the most selfless person in the world and wonderful to be around.”