Mother’s concern over treatment of daughter Amy

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AMY Pickard’s mother said she still had questions over the care her daughter received in the days leading up to her death.

Thelma Pickard told the inquest that her daughter had been responding well to the holistic remedies at the Rafael Medical Centre, where she was treated for seven years following her heroin overdose in 2001.

Thelma, 57, who lived in Ore at the time of Amy’s overdose, but has since relocated to Icklesham, said: “I felt that she became a lot more confident, and she was able to follow me with her eyes.

“She responded to me better than I had known in the last seven years.”

Amy was transferred to Mary House, a private care home, on September 30, 2009, and in the days that followed, Thelma told the inquest that the proper checks had not been carried out, including oxygen levels.

She said that on the day of Amy’s death, October 10, 2009, her position in the bed was ‘odd’, adding: “I can’t say I know, because I wasn’t there, but I surmise that she had rolled over and her airway was blocked.”

Clutching one of Amy’s pink cuddly toys, Thelma spoke of an incident in the days leading up to Amy’s death, where her tracheostomy had been removed in error during a physiotherapy session, compromising her airway.

She said: “She was squealing. I went absolutely mad.”

Felicity Evans, a registered nurse at Mary House, who was on duty along with two support workers on the day of Amy’s death, said that Amy was checked every 30 minutes throughout the night.

She responded to criticism by saying: “The nurses are not criminals, we did our best.

“Amy was one of our family in Mary House and we are human beings who cared for her.”

Ms Evans, a nurse for 32 years, told the inquest that at 3am, Amy’s face was found to have fallen sideways, and she was repositioned.

The final check before Amy was found dead was at 4.45am, at which time Ms Evans said that she was lying on her side and breathing.

At 5.30am on October 10, Ms Evans noticed something was wrong when she saw Amy’s left arm hanging from the bed.

“It was so white, I spotted it from halfway up the corridor.

“I pushed past my colleagues and ran to her. I checked her eyes and they were dull and lifeless.”

No attempt at resuscitation was made because it was apparent that Amy was dead, Ms Evans said.

Thelma said outside the court that she still missed her daughter. “I loved Amy then and I love her more and more each day, and I miss her. I miss her so much,” she said.