Mum who ate ‘kids party diet’ of Wotsits and Irn Bru died of malnutrition
A mother-of-two has died from malnutrition after living off 'kids party food' due to suffering long-standing mental health problems.
Charlotte Broad snacked on foods like cheese and onion crisps, prawn crackers and poppadoms after suffering an eating disorder and mental health issues throughout her entire life, an inquest has heard.
Even when she was pregnant with her second child, aged around six, she lived almost exclusively on Irn-Bru and Wotsits.
The 32-year-old was admitted to hospital on January 3 after being bed-bound for nearly six weeks where she refused to accept any food until she passed away two weeks later.
Winchester Coroner Court heard how medics felt helpless when Miss Broad refused to eat or even drink and vomited so frequently her throat turned black. She wouldn't even accept nutrition via an intravenous drip.
During the time she was at hospital she told doctors she regularly drank 'excessive amounts of fizzy drinks after eating very little' and would 'throw up straight away'.
When doctors asked if she understood what was going to happen if she didn't eat she responded "I'm probably going to die".
Six days before her death on January 13, Miss Broad told medics she no longer wanted to be examined and refused to let doctors take blood from her telling them she was fed up of being poked and prodded.
Miss Broad had battled depression and a long-term eating disorder that worsened when she had a late-pregnancy stillbirth.
Her brother, James, told the court: "She always ate strangely from a young age. She would have chicken nuggets and chips every day.
"I can't remember her being called fat at school, I was the larger child. By the time I left home she was still just eating chicken nuggets and chips but never any vegetables.
"I do believe she should have been sectioned for her mental health.
"I believe she wanted to die, I don't know why if I'm honest."
However, he said that what Miss Broad chose to eat was the polar opposite of what she fed her children.
Coroner Samantha Marsh did not conclude Miss Broad had committed suicide, saying she did not have 'intention to take her own life, she had ambivalence to living'.
Ms Marsh said she was satisfied that Miss Broad understood that by not eating, she knew what would happen, adding: "Ultimately, you can't tie someone down and force them to eat.
"Charlotte had a difficult relationship with food. Everyone is in agreement that her diet was incredibly poor, it was almost kids' party food, the chicken nuggets, the chips, the coke.
"All of the health problems she was experiencing were secondary to the poor malnutrition. There were multiple attempts by mental health to engage with her…"She declined all of those services."
Miss Broad was said to have died from malnutrition that was caused by the intentional refusal to take enough food and drink which led to multiple organ failure. When she died, she was in the early stages of heart failure as a result of long periods of malnutrition.
Dr Frank Murphy, who treated Miss Broad at Royal Hampshire County hospital, said: "Some people commit suicide by jumping off a bridge, and some just stop eating."
Dr Murphy said: "It is very hard. You are looking at a young lady who is dying in front of you and you think why is this happening."
Miss Broad's mum, Kate Gibson, told the court she encouraged her daughter to eat a healthier diet and hid vegetables in her food.
She said: "I don't know if she wanted to die. But I know she would not have wanted to leave her children.
"She was stubborn, she was cheeky she was caring, she was a loving mum, she was amazing."
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