Tributes paid to Hailsham midwife who worked at Hastings' Conquest Hospital: ‘I’m devastated, I can’t believe she’s gone’
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The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on September 8, heard 47-year-old Ruth Barnes, a midwife at Hastings’ Conquest Hospital, was found at her home in Boreham Street on March 31.
Steve Barnes, her husband, told the inquest: “She was a beautiful, loving and caring wife to me and three children. We met on Tinder and fell in love straight away. I had found my true love. I’m devastated, I can’t believe she’s gone.”
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Barnes said: “Ruth was always putting everyone else first. Her colleagues would tell you she was the most loving and giving person you could ever meet.”
A spokesperson for Mrs Barnes’ colleagues said after the inquest: "Ruth was a vivacious, kind and adventurous person with an extraordinary, infectious laugh. She had a real passion for midwifery and was an advocate for both the people she cared for and her colleagues. Ruth was a great, confident person. She enjoyed being a mentor and teaching within her role. We are incredibly saddened by the loss of our colleague and will miss her greatly.”
A report from Mrs Barnes’ GP, Dr John Simmons, revealed to the inquest she’d suffered with mild depression in the past and was prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills. The inquest heard a mixture of these drugs were found in her system and the post mortem report also found she had suffered from a pulmonary embolism - a blocked blood vessel in her lungs.
Mr Barnes told the inquest that on the morning of March 31: “I made my breakfast, made Ruth a cup of tea. I took it up to her. I gave her a kiss and a cuddle and then said goodbye.”
He said he then went to work as usual and received a call later that day from Mrs Barnes’ daughter telling him his wife had died.
Mr Barnes said: “I could not believe what she was saying. She told me that Ruth was dead. Words cannot describe how I felt.”
East Sussex coroner Alan Craze came to a narrative verdict - pulmonary embolism (natural causes) and drug overdose (accident).