Friends remember St Leonards mum’s ‘heart of gold’ and love for karaoke

A St Leonards mum who ‘had a heart of gold’ died from an accidental drug overdose, an inquest has heard.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 2:45 pm

Mccayla Mason, 44, was found unresponsive at her flat in Carisbrooke Road, St Leonards, on April 5, 2019.

An inquest into her death, held in Hastings on Tuesday (November 5), heard the mum-of-one had accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs she was taking to treat chronic pain in her legs and back.

Afterwards, her friends said she would do anything to ensure her 18-year-old son Reiss had the best life he could.

Mccayla Mason was remembered for having a 'heart of gold'
Mccayla Mason was remembered for having a 'heart of gold'

Tracie Grimwood, who met Mccayla more than ten years ago when they were neighbours, said: “She had a heart of goldShe would help everyone. She was the best friend to have.

“I used to speak to her everyday on the phone and I feel like I have lost my safety net. She used to listen to me rant when I had bad days and I would listen to her rant if she had a bad day. That was how our friendship worked and we’d forget about it and move on.

“She was a best mate. She was a great friend and a good mum. She will be missed greatly.

“She loved us all for all our different things and we loved her. She had a place in her heart for all of us and we all had a space in ours for her.”

The inquest heard Mccayla had posted onto her Facebook page the day before her death saying she had taken her prescription drugs but her pain would not go away.

The court was read a statement by Chrissie Knight, who lived below Mccayla and had been friends for four and a half years, who said on the morning of April 5, Reiss knocked on her door and said he could not wake his mother.

Chrissie said she went upstairs to Mccayla’s flat and found her lying on her bed, cold to touch and without a pulse, before she called 999.

Chrissie, who described her and Mccayla as ‘the gruesome twosome’, said afterwards: “She didn’t have much herself but she gave everything to others. She would give you the shirt off her back.

“You could call her up at 4am in a panic and she would be there at 4.05am ready to listen. She was somebody I could call any time, day or night.”

Her friends said Mccayla loved karaoke – particularly performing Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet, which was also played at her funeral – and caring for Reiss, whom she adored.

Linda Vaughan, Reiss’ godmother, had known Mccayla for 23 years and took in Reiss straight after her death.

She added: “Reiss is doing better. He is doing a catering course in West Sussex and that is helping.

“Mccayla was a really lovely person. She was very genuine and so loyal. She would put anybody up if they needed a bed for the night and she has been a second mother for all our children.

“We will miss her so much.”

Senior coroner for East Sussex Alan Craze returned a conclusion of accidental death.