Teenager dies of insulin overdose

Cavendish Press - Manchester

Charlie Dunne, aged 19 died in December last year, having injected her boyfriend’s insulin seemingly as a cry for attention.

The night before she died, she had been out playing darts with friends. During the match, Miss Dunne had a panic attack and returned home seemingly agitated and threatened to take tablets.

Her boyfriend, Terence Rhoden said she woke him up and told him to leave, claiming that he was ‘too good for her’. ‘She wanted to take some painkillers and I told her she couldn’t take them whilst drinking and moved them. We went in to the living room and talked and she calmed down. She fell asleep on the couch.’

He got her a duvet and blanket before settling down and playing his PS4 whilst she slept. In the morning, he had left the house at around 7am to go for a his appointment at the hospital. He kissed her on the head before he left, at which point she was still alive.

Later on that morning, Mr Rhoden tried to call her to make sure she was awake for college. There was no response. When he came home at around noon, he found Miss Dunne on the living room floor, unconscious.

‘I went in to the lounge, I saw Charlie breathing heavily, she was blue in the face with foam coming out of her mouth. She was still on the floor. I thought she was having an allergic reaction.’

‘I saw my insulin pen on the couch down the cushion, kind of sticking out. It was a brand new one because the other was in my pocket. The box was in the bin. When I found the insulin pen, it was empty.’

Doctors at Royal Bolton Hospital confirmed that she had taken an overdose of insulin. She did not respond to glucose and was taken to the emergency department but died a few days later.

With a previous boyfriend she threatened to take tablets, these believed to be cries for attention and not any intention to harm herself.’

‘She was looking forward to Christmas, enjoying a course doing hairdressing. However, on occasion she might have been the type of person who cried for attention.’

He said the conflicting accounts from Mr Rhoden and Mr Dunne were ‘not relevant’ and that there was no evidence that Mr Rhoden was involved in events leading up to her death.

He added: ‘It is likely that Charlie administered the insulin to herself during that period by gaining the insulin pen from the fridge and injecting herself. There is evidence she would have known how to inject.

‘What she would not know is sadly the catastrophic effect of an insulin injection even if only one single injection on a non-diabetic person.

‘She talked about losing a baby, not able to have children, that shows a change in mood.

‘The injection of insulin without appreciating the effect of insulin brought about her death. It’s likely that this was a cry for attention that had the most dramatic and catastrophic consequence.’

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