A ‘fit and healthy’ mother-of-two died after accidentally overdosing on her dying husband’s morphine which she had taken for a running injury, an inquest heard.
Krista Schofield, 41, from Bolton, was found unresponsive in bed by her husband Matthew on the morning of October 16 last year, after taking a fatal dose of the drug.
It had been prescribed to her husband to help control the symptoms of his terminal bile duct cancer.
Krista Schofield, 41, from Bolton, was found unresponsive in bed by her husband Matthew on the morning of October 16, after taking a fatal dose of morphine (the couple are both pictured)
The hearing at Bolton Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Schofield, who was not deemed well enough to attend the inquest, had woken up in bed next to his wife, and ‘gone downstairs to make a brew’.
When he returned at 7.10am, he found her face down on the pillow with blue lips.
Coroner John Pollard told the hearing that Mrs Schofield, who ran a street kitchen providing cooked meals to homeless people in Bolton town centre, may have taken the drug to relieve pain she had been experiencing after falling off a treadmill just days earlier.
Although Mrs Schofield had been treated for anxiety in the past, Mr Pollard said there was ‘nothing to suggest she would have deliberately taken her own life’.
Mrs Schofield was described in court as being a happy person who had ‘a very strong relationship’ with her husband and two sons.
A keen runner who ran between five and 10 miles every day, she also ran an eBay business with her mother.
Mr Schofield paid tribute to his late wife in an emotional statement read out in court.
It read: ‘Since Krista’s death it has been a living nightmare. Krista’s death has completely crumbled the family’s foundations and I don’t know how I’m going to cope.
‘She was a fit, healthy and happy person.’
The couple had met while working in the south of England and married in 2007 before relocating to Bolton to be closer to Krista’s family.
At the time of the death, they were living in Farnworth, Bolton.
Mr Schofield said that he did not think his wife was depressed, but feared she had self-medicated on his medication.
Pathologist Jonathan Pearson recorded the cause of death as a morphine overdose.
Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Mr Pollard, said: ‘I think what has happened is she has taken some of this medication that is lying around and has probably got this nagging pain and thought it will ease it, and it has built up as more than she can cope with.
‘Yes, she had problems to deal with, but there is nothing to suggest she would have deliberately taken her own life.
‘She had a good relationship with her children. She has a huge family that were supportive of her.
‘I have said it many times – people who are being treated for illnesses like cancer are prescribed morphine because they need more and more.
‘People see that and think ‘I will take some of that’ and do not realise that those of us who are not prescribed it can only take a very small amount.’