Blind university student found hanging in her room with her guide dog by her side just days after breakup
Jade Clements, 24, who hanged herself at the Keele University in Staffordshire in March 2018, was waiting for an appointment with a psychiatrist
A university student who was blind and used a guide dog was recently found hanging in her university dorm room with the dog pacing close to her.
An inquest heard that 24-year-old Jade Clements hanged herself only minutes after she sent an upsetting message to her friend at the Keele University in Staffordshire in March 2018. The inquest also heard how a security guard had to access her room after a risk assessment officer at the Holly Cross halls became worried. However, they arrived too late and found her dead.
Clements' faithful black Labrador named Toffee was next to her when she was found. The inquest was told that the student, who is from Godalming, Surrey, had been fighting multiple health issues and she also recently went through a break-up, the Daily Mail reported.
Aside from the issues with her sight — which was linked to a hereditary condition — Clements also had scoliosis, bipolar disorder, insomnia, and undiagnosed seizures. She was also on several different kinds of medication and was waiting for an appointment with a psychiatrist.
The university student had previously spent time away from the university before she decided to go back. She had been staying on campus during the Easter holidays. Samara Hussain, her friend, was also at the Holly Cross halls and remembers getting a message from Clements mere hours before she took her own life on March 29, 2018.
Hussain said in a statement: "She said she had relapsed into depression. I was very concerned. I rang her and she was crying." Clements had spent around two hours at her friend's room and looked like she was perking up. They had agreed to meet again the following day but, after she went back to her room, she sent several other messages.
One of her American friends was so concerned that they contacted the authorities in the UK. By this point, the staff at Keele had already been made aware of the situation. Tonya Bobmanuel, the risk assessment coordinator went to knock on Clements' door. She said: "I heard a dog and some shuffling around in the room, which I thought was Jade coming to the door."
There was no answer so Bobmanuel immediately called the security guard who used a passkey in order to enter the student's room. That's when they found her body. An autopsy confirmed that Clements died from hanging. It was also revealed that she had a significant amount of alcohol in her body.
North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith recorded a conclusion of suicide. He said: "For some reason, she had decided to end it all. An awful end to a promising career."
Her family also paid tribute to the "determined" young woman who was a first-class student. They also described her as being a "total inspiration" and that her "courage, infectious smile and mischievousness" touched those she knew. Brian Clements, her father, recalled how she would go kayaking and even horse-riding even though she had disabilities.
He added: "After her death, we decided to raise funds for the charity Guide Dogs as they had supported her with Toffee. She had had him for about 18 months and he gave her independence. Toffee was part of her life and we just couldn't give him back. He now lives with Jade's brother, Luke."
After her tragic death, some of the money that was raised from a GoFundMe campaign has gone towards her funeral costs and the rest is going to Guide Dogs. The fundraising event also included a dog walk, which attracted many dogs.
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