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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Insulin tragedy of diabetic Cumbrian girl, 17

A talented young Cumbrian singer died just days before she was due to audition for The X-Factor.

Beth Durose photo
Beth Durose

Seventeen-year-old Bethany Durose, who had lived with type one diabetes since the age of eight, died after she accidentally overdosed on the insulin she was taking to control her condition.

Her devastated parents, Michael and Patricia, told an inquest yesterday that their daughter, known to friends and family as Beth, had been due to attend an audition for The X-Factor in Manchester on March 26 last year.

She had been allocated a timeslot for the reality show, they said, and planned to perform Eva Cassidy’s Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

But tragedy struck the previous weekend when Beth was found unconscious at her home in Holmrook by her boyfriend, Daniel Whittle, and a group of concerned family members.

She was taken to the West Cumberland Hospital with extremely low blood sugar levels which had caused significant brain damage and died two days later, on March 21, when it was decided that her life-support machine should be turned off.

Coroner David Roberts ruled that Beth’s death was an accident, after hearing evidence that she had struggled with her diabetes throughout her teenage years.

Mr and Mrs Durose revealed that their daughter “hated” the fact that she had the condition and was occasionally not as disciplined as she needed to be when it came to medicating herself.

Mrs Durose said: “She was fine when she was first diagnosed, but when she went to senior school things started to change.

“She just didn’t want to be different and was often in denial.”

Mrs Durose added that her daughter often neglected to take blood tests and injections during the day, preferring instead to administer a larger dose of insulin at the end of the day. However, Mr and Mrs Durose said they noticed an improvement in Beth’s outlook in the months before she died and she was set to begin a new medication regime that she felt would suit her better.

Mr Durose said: “She had started to realise that she needed to take control as she knew she would start to suffer complications if she didn’t.

“She had really matured in the last few months.”

Mr and Mrs Durose had gone on holiday to Malta – their first holiday without Beth – and took the first plane home when they learned Beth had gone into hospital.

“She was fine when we left her and we would not have gone if she hadn’t been,” said Mrs Durose. “We spoke on the phone just before we got on to the plane and exchanged messages while we were there.

“She said she was fine and told us to enjoy ourselves.”

The coroner heard that on the night of the accidental overdose, Beth had argued with Mr Whittle, her boyfriend of two years, after a night out in the Lion & Lamb pub in Gosforth and had seemingly ended their relationship.

There was also evidence to suggest that during the day, Beth had been the victim of some verbal abuse, including one unpleasant message on Facebook.

However, Mr Roberts “completely” ruled out the possibility that Beth had intended to harm herself.

He concluded: “It is clear that she was very anti the diabetes and reached total denial at points.

“However, she was coming to terms with it.

“She had decided to give herself a dose of insulin that she thought appropriate to counteract what she had done during the day, but this would be frowned upon by doctors and nurses.

“This proved to be an excessive dose that caused her entirely accidental death.”

Mr Durose paid tribute to Beth saying: “From the messages we have received, it is obvious that Beth affected a lot of people during her short life, and that a significant light has now been lost to the world.”

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