Inquest told of mother's work stress

A NURSE who was suffering from work-related stress was found dead after consuming a cocktail of sedatives, an inquest heard.

Josh Warwick

A NURSE who was suffering from work-related stress was found dead after consuming a cocktail of sedatives, an inquest heard.

Michele Wood's body was found on a farm in Nacton on March 26, two days after she had been reported missing by her family.

Mrs Wood, 45, of Medway Road, Ipswich, had worked as a nurse since 1981, qualifying in 1983 and eventually taking up a position at Hatfield Road surgery in east Ipswich.

You may also want to watch:

The surgery closed in 2006 and amalgamated with another at a new practice in Ravenswood, where Mrs Wood became a senior nurse.

Her family said it was while she was there that her responsibilities became more demanding and increasingly stressful.

Most Read

Statements read to the inquest heard how the pressures of her job mounted in the days leading up to her disappearance.

It also emerged that treasured family photographs and cherished notes from loved ones were found close to Mrs Wood's body.

Consultant pathologist Jason Wong carried out Mrs Wood's post mortem.

He told the inquest the drugs she had consumed alone, which were taken in limited doses, were unlikely to have been strong enough to kill her.

However he said the weather at the time she had gone missing had been particularly cold and windy.

Dr Wong added: “Given those conditions, and that she could have been drowsy, she might have been more prone to hyperthermia.”

Coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded an open verdict.

He said: “We know there was a background of stress relating to work and items present at the scene suggested there was suicidal intent. The problem is establishing the link between that intent and the outcome.

“We have heard the temperatures were such she could have died of hyperthermia.

“We also heard the toxicology levels of the medication would not have been fatal if taken together.”

Mrs Wood was a dedicated Christian and after her death, the reverend Paul Daltry, of St Luke's Church in Cliff Lane, spoke on behalf of her husband Pete, 21-year-old daughter, Hannah, and 17-year-old son, Ben.

He said: “She was due to come to Rwanda with the church in February and had been looking forward to it but then got ill.

“She loved to help other people.”

Would you like to pay tribute to Mrs Wood? How will you remember her? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, alternatively e-mail or visit

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter