An inquest heard that a nurse who worked at Birmingham Children’s Hospital was found dead at home at the young age of 30 by her mother. For seven years, Stacey Fusco, a nurse from Swadlincote, worked in the cancer unit.
Because of her fear and depression following the death of a child from the illness, she sought medical attention and was given medicine. When her mother discovered the 30-year-old in April of last year, she was taking the recommended maximum dose of the antidepressant Sertraline.
Her use of her antidepressant medication, along with a rare electrical imbalance in her heart, contributed to her death. Her mother Susan Eley described her daughter as “always very caring, very joyful, and always wanted to looked after her brother; she worked hard” in a statement handed out during the inquest.
She claimed that because the hospital was understaffed and Stacey was working overtime, she had been experiencing problems. Stacey was given medication when her anxiety first appeared, according to her mother, who stated: “She refused to let this overwhelm her. She focused entirely on her patients.”
She added: “She had mental health issues but I do not believe she would ever harm herself.” She continued: “She was very social, loved life and always made sure the family got together. She was heart and soul of the party.”
Pal Jessica Arthur saw her days before her death, when they walked a dog together. She last saw her on April 17 when they went dog walking. She said she was laughing more than she had in a while.
She added: “I do not believe that it was suicide. She had come a long way.” On April 7, she had a doctor consultation with the GP saying it appeared she was feeling mentally better.
Assistant coroner Sophie Lomas testified at the inquest that: “Stacey was exposed to anxiety, which is regrettably not unusual, but she wasn’t someone who was considering suicide, therefore she made the right decision and sought help. No proof exists that this was a suicide. Nothing suggests that an overdose occurred. She had been taking the medication as directed, and it seemed to be at the right dosage.”
She said: “The death would be due to natural cases caused by an electrical imbalance in the heart but Sertraline has contributed to her death because it appears to have caused the electrical disturbance. I give a narrative conclusion. She died at home on April 20, 2021. The post-mortem examination found a sudden arrhythmic death and that Sertaline looks to have caused an electrical disturbance within her heart. It is an absolute tragedy. It is one of these tragic rare cases with some sort of underlying cardiac imbalance.”