Tragedy of mum, 51, who died after hitting her head in bathroom fall


Mum Rachel Delaney was found dead on her bathroom floor after falling and striking her head.

An inquest heard the 51-year-old had suffered a previous accident just weeks earlier when she had ended up in A&E at Leighton Hospital.

At the time of her fatal fall, she had an ‘extremely high’ level of alcohol in her system. It was the equivalent of being more than five times over the drink-drive limit and, at the very least, would have left her unsteady on her feet.

Mrs Delaney was discovered by her daughter Laura Nixon, who called at her home in Swettenham Close, Alsager, on September 15 to check up on her.

After Ms Nixon made her way upstairs, she discovered her mum. The emergency services were alerted, but it was too late to save the voluntary worker.

A post-mortem examination later revealed Mrs Delaney died from a traumatic subdural haemorrhage, with alcohol toxicity a contributory factor.

Pathologist Dr David Butterworth described it as a ‘significant injury to the head and brain’.

Police who were called to the house after the death noticed the position of her body. The head was lying close to a protruding part of the wall, which appeared to be boxing off piping.

The inquest was told that Mrs Delaney had been suffering from a number of health problems, including depression and anxiety for which she received medication. She was also alcohol dependent.

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Ms Nixon said her mum had a history of suffering falls. Around five years before her death, she had injured her shoulder while drunk.

Then came the incident on September 2 last year, although she left the hospital before staff could make a clinical note of any injuries. “I had a call from one of mum’s neighbours to say that she had fallen and they helped her to hospital,” added Ms Nixon.

The last contact she had with Mrs Delaney was on September 13 when she texted her to see if she was all right. Her mum replied that night.

But two days later, Ms Nixon went round to the house and made the awful discovery.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Cheshire coroner Alan Moore said there were two possible sequences of events.

He said: “We can’t entirely rule out the possibility that the alcohol concentration caused Mrs Delaney’s death and she had then fallen.

“Alternatively, as a result of such an extreme amount of alcohol, she could have fallen and the injury caused her death.”

But he told the inquest it was ‘more likely than not’ to be the latter explanation.





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