25 Year Old Woman Who Won Diamond Award at Age 11 Kills Self
Paragraph 10 reads: "But the family’s happiness was not to last as Kimberley, who later moved to Taunton in Somerset, began to experience suicidal thoughts and was prescribed Fluoxetine [Prozac] – an anti-depressant which has been linked in some instances with side effects which can lead to patients wanting to commit suicide."
KIMBERLEY Thomas smiles as she is congratulated by Princess Michael of Kent for saving her brother’s life.
But, 13 years after being honoured by the Royal, Kimberley was dead.
She was just 25 when she was found hanged in her bedroom a fortnight before Christmas 2008.
Now Kimberley’s mum Tracy has revealed her heartache at losing her treasured daughter, who was said by an independent expert to have suffered from bi-polar disorder.
Speaking after securing a £5,000 out-of-court settlement from an NHS Trust, Mrs Thomas accused health staff of ignoring Kimberley’s desperate cries for help.
She said she was so angry that she had been giving the cash away.
“I think it’s shocking what this country can get away with when it comes to mental health,” Mrs Thomas said. “My daughter tried repeatedly to take her life.
“She tried to jump off a bridge and stepped in front of oncoming traffic, but they didn’t see it as as a real issue and she was never once admitted to a psychiatric ward.”
Kimberley, from Redditch, was just 11 when Princess Michael presented her with a Birmingham Mail Midland Diamond award in October 1995. She won the honour for dousing her 17-month-old brother Kristiaan’s neck, face, arms and chest with cold water when he was scalded by hot water from a kettle.
But the family’s happiness was not to last as Kimberley, who later moved to Taunton in Somerset, began to experience suicidal thoughts and was prescribed Fluoxetine – an anti-depressant which has been linked in some instances with side effects which can lead to patients wanting to commit suicide.
Beautician Mrs Thomas claimed that, four days before her daughter’s death, Kimberley told a GP in Taunton that she wanted to kill herself but was sent home.
“I wanted my day in court and for the NHS to tell me what happened but I won’t get it and they won’t admit they had any responsibility in the death,” said Mrs Thomas.
“If that is the case, why are they giving me any money?
“My daughter went to the GP for help saying she would kill herself and he sent her away saying he’d refer her to a suicide prevention clinic. She was dead four days later.”
Mrs Thomas was suing Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for clinical negligence.
She gained an independent psychiatric expert report from Prof Benjamin Green which stated that, in several respects, the care provided to Kimberley fell below an acceptable standard.
The report also noted a failure to provide her with adequate psychiatric assessments and consultations and a failure to correctly diagnose and treat her condition.
An inquest held in 2009 heard how former Debenhams employee Kimberley hanged herself after a series of relationships broke down.
Mrs Thomas added: “This was never about money, it was about asking the health trust if my daughter’s case wasn’t worth doing more about.
“I am so angry about it that I have been giving the money away. I didn’t want my daughter’s death to be swept under the carpet but after being put through the mincer over the past few years, I still don’t feel that I have any closure.”
A Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust spokesman confirmed an out-of-court settlement saying the payment was “discretionary” and added: “The Trust wishes to refute any suggestion of negligence with regard to the support provided to Kimberly prior to her death.
“At the inquest held into Kimberly’s death in April 2009, the coroner made no critical assessment or comment upon the support that the Somerset Partnership Trust had offered or attempted to provide to Kimberley. The Trust would like to confirm that no admission of liability has been made in relation to any claim brought on behalf of Kimberley Thomas against the Trust.”