‘Right the wrong. Take the stigma from her,’ coroner urges
A coroner has asked friends of a teenage girl who died from a rare disease of the large intestine to correct a claim they made on Facebook that she died by suicide.
“Right the wrong. Take the stigma from her”, coroner John O’Dwyer appealed at the conclusion of an inquest yesterday into the death of Ann Jordan, aged 14, from Ross, Killala, Co Mayo.
“This child died from acute inflammation of the colon,” Mr O’Dwyer continued.
The coroner went on to describe Ann’s death as “an absolute, awful tragedy.”
The inquest heard that Ann, a pupil at St Patrick’s College, Lacken Cross, had developed a fear of doctors claiming “they don’t listen to me anyway and just say it’s constipation.”
Mary Molloy, an aunt of the dead girl, said it had been “shocking” to see how distended her niece’s abdomen had become on the day she died in Apr 2012.
The deceased girl’s condition, Hirchsprung disease, is a condition that affects the large intestine and occurs in one in 5,000 live births.
Mr O’Dwyer said that Ann appeared to havehad difficulties with constipation from an early age.
The first time she was seen for the problem was after she was born in 1998.
In later years the condition seemed to have clinically resolved itself, the coroner explained, and Ann had not been seen in hospital since 2005.
Mr O’Dwyer said that Ann appeared to have developed an extreme fear of hospitals and doctors but there was nothing to suggest that she had had a bad experience.
Ann’s collapse and subsequent death after being rushed from her home to Mayo General Hospital was the subject of a Garda investigation, but the DPP ruled there should be no prosecution in the matter.
Yesterday, the coroner quoted from the evidence of Det Garda Leo Heaney that the dead girl’s home was clean and well kept with plenty of food and numerous pictures on the wall including paintings which Ann had done over the years.
Both parents were involved in Ann’s hobby which was growing fruit in the garden and making homemade jam.
Mr O’Dwyer said it was clear from the evidence that Ann hadn’t informed her parents she was constipated.
He added: “It is difficult to understand why a child who clearly had to be suffering succeeded in concealing this from her parents”.
The coroner said that Ann’s concealment of her condition had come at enormous personal cost and pain to her.
Mr O’Dwyer returned what is known as a narrative verdict in the case.
In such a verdict the circumstances of a death are recorded without attributing the cause to a named individual.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved