Northamptonshire woman died of dehydration after husband's death

A woman with dementia died from dehydration after her husband collapsed and died at their cottage in Northamptonshire, an inquest has heard.

The bodies of Susan, 60, and Patrick Kelly, 64, lay in the sitting room of their home for up to 15 days before they were found by their concerned son.

They were discovered at their house in Weston by Welland on 27 November.

Coroner Ann Pember recorded a verdict of death by natural causes. She said the deaths were "very sad".

'Body on sofa'

The couple's son, Daniel Kelly, of Woodley, Reading, told the inquest in Kettering: "I last spoke to Dad on 12 November.

"He said his cancer was back and he was going to the hospital on 18th. He said he would ring me after that. He didn't, but that was not unusual."

Mr Kelly said he called the house and left messages but received no response.

On 27 November he was so concerned that he and his partner June Hanson drove to his parents' home.

Ms Hanson looked through the window of the sitting room and saw Mrs Kelly on the floor in front of the fireplace.

They called for an ambulance thinking Patrick Kelly was upstairs.

But when Mr Kelly looked into the sitting room he saw his father's body on the sofa.

Pathologist Dr Steve Coghill said Patrick Kelly died of breathing problems caused by pneumonia and obstruction of the bile duct.

He said Mrs Kelly died from dehydration and Alzheimer's disease. A secondary cause of death was carbon monoxide inhalation.

Chimney sweep Nigel Potter said carbon monoxide levels in the room would also have been affected by the lack of a vent and by the fact a bird guard, which had been pushed down the chimney, had leaves on top of it.

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