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Mother-of-six dies of pneumonia 'after taking cocaine while pregnant'

Mother-of-six, 34, collapses and dies of pneumonia ‘after taking cocaine while pregnant with her seventh child’

  • Lindsey Ann Hughes, 34, passed away at home after suffering heart condition
  • The mother-of-six from Angelsey, Wales, was 15 weeks pregnant when she died
  • She was found to have an ‘abnormally high’ amount of cocaine in her system
  • An inquest heard that the cocaine may have ‘contributed’ to her tragic death

A mother who died while pregnant with her seventh child had cocaine in her system that may have ‘contributed’ to the tragedy, an inquest heard.

Lindsey Ann Hughes, from Angelsey, north Wales, passed away after suffering a heart condition in the kitchen of her home. 

The 34-year-old, who was 15 weeks pregnant with a son at the time of her death in March, had pneumonia which caused her to collapse and led to respiratory failure.

Lindsey Ann Hughes, 34, died of a suspected heart attack at her home on the Isle of Anglesey, north Wales while pregnant with her seventh child

North West Wales coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones concluded Miss Hughes’s death was due to natural causes.

He told an inquest in Caernarfon: ‘If she had not taken cocaine in the past the probability is that she would have survived the bronchopneumonia, but we cannot be sure.’

Mr Pritchard Jones issued a warning to the public that cocaine can and does cause long-term issues.

Miss Hughes was found to have ‘abnormally high’ levels of the cocaine in her system, the court heard, but the coroner said it was ‘not a drug death’.

The 34-year-old, who was 15 weeks pregnant with a son at the time of her death on March 27, had pneumonia, which caused her to collapse and led to respiratory failure

Mr Pritchard said an ‘abnormally high level eight times over the level for driving’ of cocaine was found in her system, which would have contributed to her death.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had damage to her heart known as cardiac fibrosis, which can be caused by chronic cocaine use.

The baby Miss Hughes was carrying at the time of her death was said to be a ‘perfectly healthy male foetus’.

Mr Pritchard said: ‘I am seeing far too many cocaine deaths as the use of cocaine in this part of the world is very common.

‘Cocaine damages the heart by killing off patches of heart tissue and causes a tightening of the vessels.

‘Even low levels of cocaine can cause catastrophic results and repeat use causes more and more damage.

‘The public think cocaine doesn’t do any long-term harm but it does. Cocaine use can and does cause long term issues.’

He said Miss Hughes died as a result of respiratory failure due to the bronchopneumonia but cocaine toxicity was a contributing factor:

Mr Pritchard Jones said: ‘If she had not taken cocaine in the past the probability is that she would have survived the bronchopneumonia, but we cannot be sure.

 Mr Pritchard said an ‘abnormally high level eight times over the level for driving’ of cocaine was found in her system, which would have contributed to her death. A post-mortem examination revealed she had damage to her heart known as cardiac fibrosis

‘Because of the bronchopneumonia she died of natural causes, this is not a drug death, the cocaine contributed but did not ultimately cause her death.’

It was also noted that Miss Hughes’ immune system would have been suppressed due to the fact she was pregnant.

At the time of her death, her friend Helen Evans described her as ‘full of life’ and a ‘brilliant mother’.

Ms Evans said: ‘She was a devoted mother and partner, caring daughter and joyful sister – her death has left a massive hole in so many people’s lives.’

In March it was reported that Miss Hughes’s parents have now moved in to care for her heartbroken children, Carly, 16, Lennox, 15, Holly, 11, Poppy, six, Jaxton, two, and one year old Xavi. 

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