The girlfriend of a former Manchester City footballer killed herself at a beauty spot after she struggled to deal with a life-changing medical condition, an inquest heard today.
Bank worker Faye Howard, 23, sent a final text to 22-year old goalkeeper Billy O’Brien after she was left ’embarrassed’ and ‘feeling like a burden’ due to a debilitating bowel problem.
She was later found hanged in Dunham Massey Park near Altrincham, Greater Manchester after Mr O’Brien – who shared their quayside apartment – alerted police when he received the message.
She was surrounded by her mobile phone which was playing music, a photo of her grandfather and two packs of anti-depressants. A suicide note was later found in her bedroom.
The Stockport hearing was told Miss Howard, a former Liverpool John Moores sports science student, had developed Pelvic Floor Dyssynergia after being prescribed Amitriptyline for regular migraines.
The condition then begun to ‘take its toll’ on her and she struggled to hold down employment. She was teased at work and told by a manager, ‘I am not here to babysit you.’
The last time her family saw her, she told them she was ‘sick of everything and everybody’.
In a statement former City youth team player Mr O’Brien, who now plays for Macclesfield Town, said: ‘I met Faye in 2015 via social media and things became quite serious quite quickly.
‘Whilst we were on holiday together she began to suffer from really bad stomach pains and constipation and she saw a doctor when we returned to the UK.
‘Over the months I think this began to take its toll on Faye, particularly as there was no sign of it improving.
‘In January 2017 I was sent to Scotland for work and initially Faye came with but could not find employment and moved back to Manchester and this put a strain on the relationship.
‘In May 2016 the problems got worse and she cancelled going on holiday because she was worried that she would bring me down.
‘It was clear that Faye was not in a good place and she said she felt like a burden. She decided to move out and go home where she would feel more comfortable.
‘It was very hard because we loved each other more than anything else in the world.
‘After that she told me she was having thoughts about wrapping her car round a tree or putting tablets out on the table but she explained to me that she would not do it and that it was just a bad moment.
‘I had planned to see her that Friday on my return from Scotland for a meal. When she sent me those text messages on the 29th of June I knew they were serious and I called the police to express my concerns.’
Ms Howard’s sister Rachel Bunn said: ‘Faye began to suffer from migraines and started taking medication but it caused problems with her bowel.
‘The problem could have been treated with surgery but it was quite invasive so they tried to give her different methods that were non-invasive.
‘It took us 12 months to get a diagnosis but by that point she was getting depressed about the situation. For a 23-year-old girl it was a nightmare scenario.
Recording a conclusion of suicide, coroner Jason Wells said: ‘Faye found her condition very embarrassing and it caused problems with her job.
‘She was given anti-depressants and throughout 2017 her mood was described as up and down. I am satisfied there was indication of intent to take her life.’