A WORKINGTON woman whose drug use had a ‘devastating effect on her health’ died in hospital after repeatedly discharging herself against the advice of doctors, an inquest has heard. 

Dionne Mongelard, 41, died in Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle on November 6, 2023, of endocarditis (an infection of the lining and valves of the heart). 

She had been transferred on October 31 to the Coronary Care Unit in Carlisle from West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, where she had been an inpatient since October 16. 

A statement submitted to Cockermouth Coroner’s Court by Recovery Steps Cumbria (RSC), the agency responsible for helping those who suffer from addiction problems, stated that Ms Mongerlard was registered on its ‘opiate pathway’. 

It said she was rated as ‘red’, meaning that she required a review every two to four weeks. 

RSC reported that in the three months prior to her death, Ms Mongelard frequently failed to attend appointments and was not able to be contacted, despite continued and persistent attempts. 

On September 11, after failing to make any further contact, her referral was closed, but the statement said that Ms Mongelard completed a self-referral on September 29, reporting daily heroin use, though failed to attend any more appointments. 

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said in a statement that paramedics were called to Ms Mongelard on October 10, as she had abdominal pain, and urinary symptoms for two to three days, was hot to the touch, and was ‘waxy and pale’ in appearance. 

She was taken to hospital with suspected sepsis, but discharged herself the next day, despite doctors’ warnings that the infection could put her at risk of death. 

Medical records showed that in the year prior to her death, Ms Mongelard had undergone both mitral and aortic valve surgery, and suffered from viral hepatitis c, a cerebral infarction, and was a known intravenous drug user. 

She wads admitted again on October 13 with suspected sepsis, but self-discharged again.  

On October 16, she was admitted to hospital again, where her condition continued to deteriorate until her death. 

Assistant Coroner for Cumbria, Mr Robert Cohen, concluded that Ms Mongelard’s death was drug related. 

He said: “The narrative that is all too apparent is that very sadly, Ms Mongelard lived, certainly in later years, a lifestyle that was almost entirely driven by the consumption of drugs. and they had a devastating effect on her health. 

“She developed a number of underlying infections.  

“Attempts were made to engage with Ms Mongelard, but she frequently didn’t attend appointments, and took steps to prevent agencies from giving her the support which she desperately needed.”