Mum-of-two Drowned In River Hull After Losing Job As Tesco Pharmacist

The husband of a “kind-hearted” pharmacist who drowned in a river told an inquest he is haunted by her death.

Donna Ijeoma Egemonye was found in the River Hull off Raich Carter Way, Kingswood, in April 2017.

Hull Coroner’s Court heard the 47-year-old Nigerian national had spent two weeks at Miranda House to treat a bipolar episode after she had a breakdown at work in 2016.

Her husband, a former mental health consultant himself, told the inquest not enough was being done to help him raise two children, look after his sick wife and earn a living with his full time job.

Mr Chiemoelu told the hearing he had driven to the mental health unit with his wife “following an episode” in an attempt to get her seen by nurses – but claims he was turned away and told “that’s not how the system works”.

Speaking at the inquest on Tuesday, Mr Chiemoelu said: “The ghost of my dead wife is still haunting me.

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“I was alone looking after my sick wife, two children and working a full time job. I was left alone to do this on my own with no help from the Humber NHS Foundation Trust.”

Paying tribute, he added: “My wife was a very nice and kind-hearted woman and would sacrifice anything to make others happy.”

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The mum-of-two, who had previously adopted two children with her husband and lived in Parnham Drive in Kingswood, had said she had wanted to take her life on two separate occasions.

“She had a mental breakdown while working at Tesco, but we do not know why,” said Mr Chiemoelu, who married Donna in 2006.

He added: “The pharmaceutical council then took away her licence to dispense.”

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Heroic emergency service efforts almost managed to revive Donna after a bricklayer used a makeshift lasso with a hosepipe to help get to her body in the water.

Humberside Police officer Adam Richardson had jumped into the water after being called to the scene at around 5.55am on April 11, 2017.

He said: “It was cold, I go to the gym and lift weights and the water had even took my breath away.”

Donna was taken out of the water by PC Richardson and was given CPR before being taken to Hull Royal Infirmary.

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She died there later that day.

Donna had travelled from Nigeria to the UK in 2000 where she worked as a pharmacist in London, before moving to Hull where she dispensed tablets at Asda and Tesco outlets in Hull.

Hull Coroner’s Court

But after her breakdown in 2016, she lost her job and ended up in debt after she couldn’t afford the payments on her Mercedes vehicle.

Her sister Victoria Ngozi Egemonye told the hearing: “Donna was always the breadwinner in the family and not going back to work meant that the family found themselves in financial difficulties. She couldn’t cope.”

The inquest, due to last three days, continues.

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A Look At Pharmacist-led Deprescribing Using Therapeutic Nutrition Intervention

Achieving radiant health through nutrition is an ancient trend that southern Alberta pharmacist Melissa Hozack is helping to revive.

“In 400 BC, Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’ How can we promote health instead of looking at sick care?” said Hozack, a consultant pharmacist and owner of Redcliff Pharmasave, at the 2018 Calgary Drug Trends Summit on Oct. 25.

“Weight loss is just a side-effect,” noted Hozack, who was her own first case study six years ago, losing 100 pounds in seven months. Since 2013, she’s seen about 1,000 patients go through her ketogenic diet-based therapeutic nutrition program, collectively losing about 37,000 pounds — 40 pounds per patient, on average. There are many benefits, including a higher quality of life and less time off work due to illness.

Read: Pharmacist-led nutritional intervention touted in reversal of type 2 diabetes

Hozack’s intervention uses a low carbohydrate diet and multiple touch points for patient care, including daily food journaling, recipes, weigh-ins and a change in mindset through education. She also monitors patient progress with weekly consultations, which can be completed with a qualified health coach.

Why is all this important? During her presentation, Hozack referred to Obesity Canada statistics that showed more than one in three Canadians have obesity that may require medical support. She noted obesity-related disease has skyrocketed since low fat dietary guidelines were issued in the 1980s, and the prevalence of obesity is projected to increase over the next two decades. It’s also taking a direct toll on the health-care system, with the annual costs of obesity estimated between $5 billion and $7 billion, and it’s projected to rise to $9 billion by 2021.

Read: Employers urged to boost tracking of obesity efforts

In her own case, Hozack was taking 12 medications for inflammation-related disease before changing her diet, and ended up going off all of them. “What if we didn’t need the medications?” she asked. “We can now give options.”

Therapeutic nutrition addresses the underlying problem: eating too many carbohydrates, too many highly processed foods and too much sugar, said Hozack. The body produces too much insulin as a result, “and you end up with problems with insulin resistance . . .  It’s that simple.”

It takes all this into account. “It gets rid of overconsumption of the wrong kinds of foods and corrects a wide variety of conditions, with weight loss being one of the most noticeable side-effects,” she said.

Therapeutic nutrition also ensures patients get an adequate amount of protein in their diet, keep carbohydrate consumption low and fill up with fat, said Hozack, noting patients have to keep up that eating plan as part of a lifestyle change to maintain their results over the long term.

Hozack described a case study of a 59-year-old, 5 foot 9 male weighing 260 pounds with a body mass index of 38 who was on multiple medications for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, hypothyroid and sleep apnea. The cost of his medications, covered by his workplace benefits plan, was nearly $8,000 each year. The cost to the health-care system over 40 years for one patient on a similar amount of medications would total $317,308, not counting additional medications if his health were to deteriorate, noted Hozack.

Read: Obesity treatment scarce in benefits plans, report finds

A last ditch effort to help the man lose weight was bariatric surgery, at an approximate cost of between $20,000 and $25,000 to the health-care system, plus after-care costs, as well as the indirect costs of taking six weeks or more off work and possible complications.

Instead, the man enrolled in the therapeutic nutrition program, lost 45 pounds and, after a blood test confirmed his previous conditions had normalized, he went off all medications under Hozack’s guidance.

Hozack emphasized that when it comes to deprescribing, patient safety is always at the forefront of health-care providers’ decisions. “Those regular check-ins at our pharmacy are crucial to their success,” she said. “We don’t want people trying to do it on their own. They have to be monitored. Their pharmacist and doctor have to know what they’re doing.”

Read more coverage of the 2018 Calgary Drug Trends Summit.