Tragically passed away

woman tragically passed away in hoarded homeA woman was tragically found dead after living in conditions described as the worst ever seen by the authorities.

Donna Bettley, 42, was found dead in the home she shared with her sister and father. It was described as a “grim and a distressing sight”.

Rubbish was piled up inside the house, the ceiling downstairs had collapsed as a result of a burst pipe and Miss Bettley’s bed was covered in mould and rotting faeces.

Her father was arrested on suspicion of neglect after she was found dead inside the property in Thorntondale Drive, Bridlington. However the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) found there was not enough evidence for a prosecution.

Authorities did not find Donna until roughly 5-8 days after she had passed away. Dr Kirsten Hope, Home Office forensic pathologist said that ultimately sepsis – blood poisoning – was the medical cause of death as well as maggots which had implanted into her infected leg and back sores.

How can this happen?

An inquest into Miss Bettley’s death heard her mother, who died in August 2014, had asked her relatives not to clean the house because she wanted to do it.

They kept her promise and had not cleaned the property since she passed away. It is clear that Donna’s father and sister, who she was living with, had decided to not clean up until Donna was well enough.

Ultimately Donna confined herself to her bedroom after saying that she “stunk” and was “ashamed of her bandaged legs”. She refused help from doctors despite the fact she was suffering with her legs and back.

It was found that she died of a maggot and larvae infestation in pressure sores on her legs and lower back.

It is imperative that we can help those who really need it. But it is also important that these people don’t associate negativity with asking for help. We must pull together to help spread the awareness of hoarding for those who need support. The classification of hoarding as a mental health disorder is a step in the right direction. Please share this article around your circle, you may save a life.

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