Name: Siân Hewitt.
Died: April 6, 2019.
Age at death: 25.
Cause of death: Medical neglect (Delayed treatment for pulmonary embolism).
Location: Eaglestone, England, UK.
One of Siân’s colleagues wrote an article about her after she died. In it, he says:
“Siân had joined my team as a summer intern. She was qualified to the hilt. A 1st class degree. Experience volunteering, experience writing newspaper leaders, experience in live social media at the Guardian. Travel alone to India, a catalogue of interjections to support others and tackle injustices, an excellent written style. She was in.
“…[W]orking with her and subsequently mentoring her, what I never appreciated until her funeral was just how brave Siân was. She was fearless but full of fear.
“EVERY decision she made was peppered by doubt and anxiety. What to wear. How to travel. What she’d do that day. What situations she’d find herself in. EVERY moment full of paralysing angst. It’s hard to imagine.
But she didn’t just take these feelings lying down, she continually mustered an unbelievable sense of purpose and strength to overcome them. As a result her short life was a monumental patchwork of tiny successes built from a thousand battles she had won within herself day after day after day.”
Siân had bipolar disorder as well as Asperger’s, and she had to be hospitalized when she had a manic episode. However, when she was hospitalized, she became gradually more and more ill, and none of the staff–though they had had training in spotting the signs of physical illness–were able to detect Siân’s problem. Then, when she collapsed, they delayed administering CPR.
Siân died of a pulmonary embolism–a blockage in the blood vessels of the lung. People with bipolar disorder are known to be at increased risk.