BRADFORD, UK—A young mother drowned herself after becoming mistakenly convinced she was dying of stomach cancer.
Seemberjeet Kaur believed her organs were failing for weeks after becoming ‘consumed’ by the ill health of her four-year-old daughter.
The 35-year-old from Bradford, West Yorkshire, gave up her job at a nursery to care for the child in the months before her death.
An inquest heard how the mother-of-one visited the doctor after rapidly losing weight in August 2013. She was prescribed a muscle relaxant, but self-diagnosed herself as having stomach cancer after researching symptoms on the internet.
On October 23, after making repeated phone calls to her husband saying she was not feeling well, Mrs Kaur took a taxi to the River Aire. Her body was discovered six weeks after she vanished in water near Leeds railway station.
After their daughter had severe eczema and a bout of pneumonia, Mrs Kaur “did not leave her side,'”her husband said.
“She got a bit protective. It snowed one day and she did not want me to take her outside.
“She was consumed with her health. She talked to everyone about it all the time.”
At the time of her death Mrs Kaur was not working as she had given up work to look after their child which had a negative effect on the nursery worker.
“She seemed happy but disappointed not to work. She liked the house to be clean and tidy and she was a bit OCD about this. She didn’t have any hobbies or go out much,” Mr Kang said.
In August 2013,the British Gas worker said he noticed a change in his wife’s behaviour.
We went on a day out to York. I began to notice a difference in her behaviour.
After a week and a half she had lost weight. She researched on the internet to find out what the matter was and thought she had found or identified her problem.
She then went to the doctors and they gave her something for it but it didn’t help. She went back and the prescribed something else – a muscle relaxant.
After a week taking the relaxant Mr Kang recalled his wife calling him at work saying she didn’t feel well. She was to make several calls of this nature before disappearing on October 23, it was heard.
On the day of her death, she asked Mr Kang to drop their daughter off at nursery because she felt weak and unwell. When the child wasn’t collected at 11.45am, a relative contacted Mr Kang to raise the alarm.
Inquiries revealed Mrs Kaur told a taxi driver who had picked her up at 10am from her house that she was going to meet a friend.
After reviewing CCTV footage it emerged the 35-year-old had gone to the river. Her body was discovered six weeks later.
Recording a verdict of suicide Coroner Roger Whittaker said:
She felt physically unwell and after numerous trips to A&E nothing had been discovered.
She was under the impression that a number of her organs were failing and that she suffered from stomach cancer.
There were phone calls to her parents and to her doctors and other members of the family and regular visits to the doctor and yet no illness or cure was diagnosed.
She told her husband she wanted her death to be quick. She mentioned slitting her wrists in last few weeks so her husband hid knives in the kitchen.
It seems to me this death was caused by Seemberjeet herself who was exhausted by feelings of despondency and despair over a period thinking she had been unwell.
Exhaustive examinations showed she was not.
I take the view she lowered herself into the River Aire and allowed herself to be carried downstream.
I record a verdict that she took her own life whilst the balance of her mind was disturbed.