How did Beth Matthews die? Mental health blogger 'took poison she ordered online' while hospitalized

How did Beth Matthews die? Mental health blogger 'took poison she ordered online' while hospitalized
Yachtswoman and mental health blogger Beth Matthews reportedly died after ingesting a poisonous substance (Twitter/@BethMatthewsz)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: A skilled yachtswoman who became a beacon for mental health awareness reportedly died after ingesting a poisonous substance she ordered online while admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

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Twenty six-year-old Beth Matthews is said to have told hospital staff that the substance was protein powder, an inquest at Manchester South coroner's court heard. The accomplished yachtswoman, who competed in the Fastnet race aged just 15, passed away shortly after taking the substance on March 21 last year. The Cornwall native was also a popular mental health blogger with a loyal following on social media, and was described in court as "bright and vivacious" with "incredible character."

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Paramedics were summoned after Matthews took the substance. She reportedly suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital immediately. However, doctors at Wythenshawe hospital pronounced her dead shortly before 4 pm on March 21, 2022. The inquest heard how Matthews had been treated for personality disorder at the Priory Hospital Cheadle Royal, Heald Green, and had been undergoing specialist therapy after being detained under the Mental Health Act.

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She had reportedly suffered from mental health problems for most of her life, having attempted suicide and suffered severe, life-changing injuries in April 2019. Matthews subsequently began writing blogs about her own mental health journey and garnered thousands of followers on social media. Assistant Coroner Andrew Bridgeman told the jury that Matthews had "ingested a substance that came through the post, quite quickly became unwell [and] was taken urgently to hospital where she sadly died." 

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Kate Barnes, one of the paramedics who responded to the incident, detailed the response in a statement to the inquest. She said hospital staff told her that Matthew had had a "parcel delivered to the unit, which she opened in front of them and managed to consume." Inside the parcel, they said, was a "small plastic, screw-top container." Matthews reportedly told the staff that the container contained protein powder and proceeded to swallow "an unknown amount" of the substance. Staff also told Barnes that the package had "foreign writing" on it and had been purchased on the internet.

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Matthew's heartbroken mother Jane paid tribute to her daughter in court, describing her as "bright and vivacious" with "an incredible character." She gushed about how her daughter would "light up the lives" of those she met. The proud mother also detailed how Beth had been able to help those who had reached out to her after stumbling upon her blog, describing her as "caring, intelligent, and articulate." She also noted that her daughter loved sports and excelled at sailing. That said, the inquest continues and is expected to conclude next week, the BBC reported.

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