Wednesday 20 February 2019

Tragic woman died after getting stuck in bathroom, inquest hears

Mary McMenamin (53) struggled with her weight for years

Mary MacMenamin
Mary MacMenamin

Gareth Naughton and Joyce Fegan

A 45-STONE Dublin woman died after falling and becoming stuck in her bathroom, an inquest heard.

Mary MacMenamin (53) was pronounced dead at her home on Leighlin Road in Crumlin, Dublin 12, on December 9, 2012.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that her death was due to a cardiac event caused by her awkward positioning after falling in the bathroom.

Her partner Gerry Doyle told the inquest that she had struggled with her weight for many years resulting in a number of health complications including asthma and diabetes. She was not very mobile, he said, and in the year before her death stayed in bed most of the time.

At around 11.15am on the morning of her death, Ms MacMenamin called for help because her walking stick had become stuck in the doorjamb of the bathroom. As Mr Doyle tried to help her, Ms MacMenamin fell to the floor and her leg became stuck. She then went unconscious and Mr Doyle went to his neighbour Donna O’Reilly for help.


Ms O’Reilly said that Ms MacMenamin was slumped on the floor, face down to the side of the toilet. One arm was raised above her head. She called an ambulance explaining Ms MacMenamin’s position and that they were unable to move her.

She said her partner tried to lift Ms MacMenamin’s head at one point and thought that he heard her breathing.

When paramedics arrived, they moved Ms MacMenamin to the bedroom. However, she was pronounced dead at 1.10pm.

The post-mortem was carried out at St James’s Hospital by Dr Ramadan Shatwan who told the court that Ms MacMenamin weighed 286 kilograms (45 stone and 5 pounds) when she died with a body mass index of 79.2. He said there was evidence of asphyxia and the lungs were compressed as a result of pressure put on the diaphragm by the abdominal organs. The heart was also twice the normal weight, he said, which may have been a factor in the death.

He gave the cause of death as positional asphyxia on a background of morbid obesity in addition to an enlarged heart, which may have contributed to an arrhythmia.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a narrative verdict outlining the facts.

Irish Independent

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