A WOMAN struggling to come to terms with an illness that would have left her in a wheelchair took her own life, an inquest in Taunton heard today (Wednesday, October 7).

Gillian Anne McDonald, aged 68, of Clayford, Dulverton, had suffered a number of serious injuries from falls and was in constant pain due to the onset of gait apraxia, a debilitating condition which gets progressively worse and for which there is no cure.

Mrs McDonald and her husband of 36 years, John, had enjoyed horse and carriage riding to national level, while she was active in the community until she fractured her skull after being knocked over by a horse ten years ago.

Mr McDonald told the inquest his wife’s personality changed afterwards and her mental state declined further when she was diagnosed with gait apraxia.

He said he discovered his wife dead in bed after going to wake her on the morning of February 3 this year.

Acting senior Coroner for West Somerset Tony Williams gave the cause of death as asphyxia, concluding that Mrs McDonald took her own life.

If you have been affected by this story, contact the local Samaritans at 16 Wood Street, Taunton, phone 01823-288998 or bereaved@mindtws.org.uk, phone 03003305463.