A severely anxious mother drowned her seven-year-old son before taking her own life after becoming terrified she would die from cancer, an inquest heard.
Financial analyst Yulia Gokcedag, 35, was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before lockdown, Poplar Coroner’s Court heard.
Yulia Gokcedag hung herself after drowning her son Timur in their apartment near Canary Wharf on August 13, just days after doctors told her she’d reacted well to chemotherapy and was booked in for a final surgery.
Police forced their way into one of the family’s properties on the Isle of Dogs after the pair were reported missing by Mrs Gokcedag’s financial risk manager husband Mehmet.
Yulia Gokcedag, who worked for Moody’s Investors Service, had briefly spoken about taking her own life with family and doctors in May but persuaded them she wasn’t serious about the plan.
She told them she wanted a divorce from her complicated marriage and to return to Russia with Timur, but there was simply nothing to indicate she would hurt her son, the court heard.
Yulia Gokcedag’s mother Elena Galivea moved to the United Kingdom in January to support her daughter while she underwent chemotherapy, and talking at the inquest through an interpreter, she said that Yulia was the daughter you dreamt of having and that she was extremely considerate.
She said that she would think about other people more often than herself and that she believed that Yulia would never do anything to herself or Timur.
Elena Galivea said that her daughter had told her she wanted to kill herself in May but was also incredibly terrified of dying of cancer, despite being given a 97 per cent probability of survival.
Mrs Galivea said she was endeavouring to convince her daughter that she was going to be cured, but that her daughter believed that she only had a three per cent chance of survival.
Mr Gokcedag said he and his wife had frequently argued but they loved each other and that she’d told him about her suicidal thoughts once and he discovered a letter from the Swiss assisted dying clinic Dignitas in their home, but that she had later assured him she had no intention of killing herself.
He said that his wife was an extremely nice person and that she was a good mother. She adored their son and it was unbelievable that she could do such a thing.
Nobody can judge this poor woman and this is so sad because she required treatment, and we should never judge unless we’ve been in her position and what does sicken me is when people who have nothing better to do than point the finger when not in possession of the facts.
This is a tragedy – a loss of two lives and we should be showing respect for two lost souls, their family and friends.
All too frequently, care in the community means little or no care and as a society, we wouldn’t expect someone with a broken leg to limp along untreated, yet those with mental health issues usually have to wait months for treatment.
Mental health services are grossly underfunded and under-resourced because the problems are usually hidden until they manifest themselves in such tragic ways and mental health is so difficult for people with a cancer diagnosis and it’s extremely difficult to come to terms with and no one will ever understand the human mind.
Severe anxiety isn’t a joke, it takes over your life, your sleep and the capacity to focus on anything or take any wise decisions and she concealed her mental health problems extremely well, but evidently, her illness overtook her – she was mentally ill, not a murderer.