'Kind and gentle' Derbyshire woman died by suicide after her cancer returned

Our thoughts are with Mary Cantrill's loved ones.
Our thoughts are with Mary Cantrill's loved ones.

A ‘kind and gentle’ woman took her own life after her mental and physical health deteriorated when her cancer returned, an inquest heard.

Family members sadly found Mary Cantrill hanged at her bungalow on Yokecliffe Avenue, Wirksworth, on January 15.

Chesterfield coroners’ court was told the 65-year-old – who experienced anxiety and depression – suffered a relapse of her leukaemia a year before she died.

'She struggled with her mental and physical health'

In a statement read out during Thursday’s inquest, Hannah Cantrill described her mother as a ‘private person who kept herself to herself’.

The retired secretary and dinner lady at Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth enjoyed walking, going to church and weekends away with her husband David.

Hannah Cantrill said her mother was diagnosed with leukaemia five years ago and underwent chemotherapy – but she found a lump a year before she passed away and had further treatment.

“She struggled with her mental and physical health – she started to deteriorate,” Hannah Cantrill said in her statement.

Return of cancer was 'overwhelming'

The inquest heard Mrs Cantrill was prescribed antidepressants and received support from Pam Holburn, a community psychiatric nurse.

She said: “Mary had thoughts of suicide but never had any plans to act on them at all.”

Mrs Holburn added that the return of the cancer was ‘overwhelming’ for Mrs Cantrill.

Coroner Peter Nieto said Mrs Cantrill’s husband was taken to hospital with a heart attack just hours before she took her own life.

He said Mr Cantrill’s hospital admission would have been a ‘highly stressful event’ for her.

Mrs Holburn agreed, adding: “They were a very close husband and wife.

“They had a good relationship and I think she would have felt that she wouldn’t want to be without him.”

Mr Nieto recorded a conclusion of suicide.

Following the inquest, Mr Cantrill and his daughter described Mrs Cantrill as a ‘kind and gentle’ lady who is sadly missed.

Whoever you are, however you feel, whatever life has done to you, please remember that you are not alone and help is at hand. You can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email them jo@Samaritans.org. The Samaritans are there all day, every day.