Woman dies after liver transplant

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A WOMAN addicted to painkillers for years died just two days after a liver transplant, an inquest heard.

Jobless Charlotte Wardle, aged 23, suffered severe liver failure brought on by overdosing on Paracetamol and heavy drinking.

The Rotherham hearing was told her liver’s cells would have been damaged by her addiction first to codeine then paracetamol.

She was also suffering from the heart condition Wolf -Parkinson-White syndrome and had a bipolar disorder leading to mood swings for the last three or four years.

In the weeks before her death, Miss Wardle, who lived with her brother at Birch Court Park, Hartington Close, Rotherham had complained of feeling tired and shut herself away reading books such as the Twilight Sagas.

Miss Wardle became addicted to the extra-strength painkiller codeine but was weaned off it by her doctor and then began taking paracetamol to get the same fix.

She was admitted to hospital on August 28 last year with a history of vomiting and severe abdominal pain.

Miss Wardle confessed to having taken a paracetamol overdose. Her liver was found to be failing and she was transferred to St James’ Hospital in Leeds for a transplant the next day.

Surgery was carried out on September 2 but her condition rapidly deteriorated and she suffered a heart attack and died on September 4.

Consultant Dr Vernon Davies said the Leeds hospital decided a liver transplant was the only chance for Miss Wardle and it went ‘reasonably well’. But she began bleeding internally and there was a ‘catastrophic’ decline in her blood pressure.

He said paracetamol destroys the liver’s cells and if combined with large amounts of alcohol it would produce a toxic by-product leading to liver failure.

Coroner Nicola Mundy recorded a verdict of accidental death and added: “In my view she accidentally took too many. It seems to me she was taking large amounts of Paracetamol to get the high she was accustomed to from codeine.”