An inquest heard that a brave nurse whose independence was stripped from her overnight when she lost both her legs and an arm after a cough turned to sepsis was discovered hung by her husband.
Jayne Carpenter, 53, was left with just one limb when a simple cough in 2016 grew into neutropenic sepsis, a life-threatening response to an infection that happens when the immune system overreacts and starts destroying the body’s tissues.
The hospital nurse, who lost her left arm below the elbow, both legs and four fingers of her right hand, quickly started campaigning to highlight the dangers of sepsis.
Before her passing, Jayne Carpenter continued to dance and keep fit using metal prosthetic legs that caused terrible pain and infections, had been fundraising money for pioneering limb surgery not available on the NHS and had raised more than £20,000 of her £265,000 target.
Her GoFundMe page read: ‘The surgery will enable me to live the life of an able-bodied person. All the things I loved doing and my independence were stripped from me overnight.’
She added: ‘The prosthetic provision is not sufficient to allow me to live the active life I want to lead. This to me is not having a quality of life but enduring it.’
An inquest heard that on the day of Jayne’s death, on December 7, 2020, her husband of 22 years Robert, 56, who described his wife as his brightest star, got a call from her asking him to pick up their family dog Harriet, but when he arrived home at their house in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, he found that she’d hung herself.
In a touching post shared on social media, husband Robert said that Jayne was in continuous pain and knew that she would never get better and that COVID was the tipping point for her because she’d become very down. After all, she couldn’t dance and socialise and do the things that kept her going.
Robert also described his wife Jayne as an amazing person and said that she was the brightest star and that his sky has burnt out, and he said that she’d offered him the chance to walk away but that he told her that he didn’t marry her for her arms and legs but because he loved her.
In a witness statement read out at Merthyr Tydfil Coroner’s Court, Robert went on to describe his wife as a happy, bubbly, sociable person who had a passion for travelling around the world when they first met.
This is one of the saddest things that I’ve had to write in a long time and my heart goes out to the family, and it really does make you count your blessings. This is terribly tragic and she was so brave, and this just highlights this truly horrific disease.
And it’s heartbreaking that for this lady she felt that this was her only way out of her pain and loneliness and clearly not enough is being done to help people like Jayne.
The government should be financing the NHS for things like this, for more comfortable limbs because to live a life on antibiotics and to be in continuous pain, especially when it’s multiple limbs is extremely cruel.
This was a brave lady that just couldn’t take anymore, but things like this shouldn’t be happening, not in modern society, and it seems that we take a step forward and ten steps back.