Mother, 23, who suffered with anorexia died just six weeks after giving birth to her second child, inquest told

  • Anyone needing support with eating disorders is encouraged to contact BEAT on 0808 801 0677 

A young mother who suffered with anorexia died just six weeks after giving birth to her second child, an inquest has been told. 

Amelia Smith, from Kirkby, Merseyside, has been described as ‘gentle, kind and beautiful’ by her loved ones. 

After welcoming her daughter Poppy into the world on October 1, 2021, she sadly passed away on November 14 that year.

At an inquest held at Bootle Town Hall on Wednesday, coroner Graham Jackson said the 23-year-old beautician had suffered with anorexia for an ‘extended period’ of time.

Miss Smith had also suffered with low potassium levels and was hospitalised and treated by doctors with an intravenous drip while pregnant with Poppy. She was also given potassium tablets to be taken orally at home, the inquest heard.

Amelia Smith, who died just six weeks after giving birth to her second child, has been described as ‘gentle, kind and beautiful’ by her loved ones

After welcoming her daughter Poppy into the world on October 1, 2021, Amelia Smith sadly passed away on November 14 that year

The inquest heard how Miss Smith and her partner, Tom Mooney, had gone out for a meal on November 13. They returned home and Miss Smith had complained of having a ‘sore belly’.

Due to Miss Smith’s eating disorder this was not out of the ordinary, but this stomach ache was different to previous ones, the inquest heard. But the couple felt it didn’t warrant medical attention at that time and Miss Smith put it down to having recently given birth.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Mr Mooney said the couple went to bed just after midnight on November 14 and said his girlfriend’s stomach ache had settled. During the early hours, Miss Smith had woken up to feed baby Poppy before going back to bed.

At 6:30am that day, Mr Mooney said he heard a ‘deep gasp for air’ from Miss Smith which he described sounded like an exhale and thought his partner was in a ‘deep sleep’. The two children were both up at this stage and Tom went to attend to them and thought his partner was having a lie in.

At around 8:45am, Mr Mooney sent their son Lucas upstairs to wake his mum up. However, Mr Mooney said Lucas only got halfway up the stairs which was ‘not normal for him to do that’ and said at that point he ‘knew something was up’.

Mr Mooney went upstairs to find Miss Smith unresponsive. He immediately called emergency services and performed CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Despite the best efforts of emergency services Miss Smith was pronounced dead.

The inquest heard how Miss Smith had a history of low potassium levels and on September 22 that year was treated for this with an intravenous potassium infusion. She had gone to hospital after suffering with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Miss Smith had suffered with low potassium levels and was hospitalised and treated by doctors with an intravenous drip while pregnant with Poppy

The inquest heard how Miss Smith and her partner, Tom Mooney (pictured together), had gone out for a meal the day before her death and she had complained of having a ‘sore belly’

She was seen by consultant Mark Clement-Jones, a consultant obstetrician at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, who after an examination booked Miss Smith in for an induction on September 29. He noted her low potassium levels and thought this could possibly be a renal problem.

The court heard how Dr Clement-Jones was going to check this issue at his clinic after Miss Smith gave birth. She was given potassium tablets and was discharged the next day as doctors deemed she was not in significant danger and it was safe for her to go home.

On September 29, Miss Smith returned to Liverpool Women’s Hospital to be induced and on October 1 Poppy was born. On October 3, Miss Smith was discharged home and into the care of community midwives.

Mr Jackson said Miss Smith was aware to take the potassium tablets and to go Dr Clement-Jones’ clinic. 

There were no concerns from midwives and health visitors after Miss Smith was discharged home after the birth of Poppy to the time of her death, the inquest heard. The mother-of-two also reported no concerns.

Amelia Smith had suffered with low potassium levels and was hospitalised and treated by doctors with an intravenous drip while pregnant with Poppy. Pictured with her son Lucas

Young mother Amelia Smith, who suffered with anorexia, died just six weeks after giving birth to her second child. Pictured with her partner Tom Mooney

A toxicology report found Miss Smith had no sign of any alcohol or drugs including prescription drugs in her system at the time of her death.

Recording a narrative conclusion, Mr Jackson said: ‘Amelia died from natural causes most probably caused by a sudden arrhythmic cardiac event with a morphological normal heart. 

‘This could have possibly been caused by anorexia nervosa [she suffered with] for an extended period and feeling unwell during her pregnancy.’

Speaking at the time of her death, Mr Mooney said: ‘She was like the glue that held us all together, she did everything.’

Miss Smith’s friend, Lucy Grayson-Maguire, who set up a GoFundMe page at the time, described her fellow beautician as a ‘gentle, kind, beautiful soul who could light up a room with her amazing smile and presence.’

Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact BEAT on 0808 801 0677.

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