A MOTHER-of-six suddenly collapsed and died while at a friend’s flat.
Julia Taylor, 48, of Denham Close, St Leonards, was with several friends at Clive Berry’s place in Devonshire Road when the tragedy struck, an inquest heard.
It heard that she took morphine and other painkillers because of chronic leg ulcers.
Mr Berry said: “We were all together in my room watching a DVD when all of a sudden she fell into John Kenny’s lap. It was without warning and happened in an instant. Up until that moment Julia had been fine and talking. We left her for a bit before trying to revive her. I could see by her eyes that she needed help.
“Before she collapsed there was a strange noise like she was gasping for breath.”
He and other friends tried to resuscitate Ms Taylor and did CPR without success while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
Mr Kenny told the inquest that Ms Taylor had been coughing a lot while at Mr Berry’s place.
He said: “She seemed to be out of breath all the time. Suddenly she made a gasping sound and fell slowly into my lap.
Kenneth Fluen, in a statement, said he had known Ms Taylor for two-and-a-half years and said she had taken morphine while at Mr Berry’s address.
He said: “I knew she had a lot of pain because of leg ulcers. She did not drink any alcohol because she gave up 20 years ago.”
In another statement read out at Wednesday’s inquest, Nicholas Martin, Ms Taylor’s partner, said: “Julia told me she had a weak heart and was taking Warfarin. She would smoke cannabis sometimes in the evening which was for the pain due to leg ulcers.
“She told me that in the past she used to drink five or six bottles of brandy a day. At the end of August last year she was due to go to Manchester to see her six children but was unable to because of a leg ulcer. She became depressed because of that.”
Dr Maria Bahhadi, the pathologist who carried out the postmortem, said there were traces of morphine in Ms Taylor’s body but within therapeutic levels. Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.