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Basingstoke teenager Whitney Berridge died of drug overdose
A BASINGSTOKE schoolgirl who died suddenly last month, took an overdose.
North East Hampshire Coroner’s Office has confirmed today that toxicology tests show that 15-year-old Whitney Berridge, from South Ham, died from a drug overdose.
As reported in The Gazette, the former Everest Community Academy pupil, who was preparing to sit her GCSEs, became ill at her home in Paddock Road, on April 19, and was taken to Basingstoke hospital, but died later the same day.
Whitney’s death came just a few days before her 16th birthday, and almost two years after her mother, Shanie, was found hanged at her then family home in Popley, on May 6, 2012.
Leigh-Ann O-Leary, the aunt who Whitney lived with, said Shanie's death had taken its toll on the teenager.
She added: “Whitney and her mum were very close. When Shanie died, Whitney died with her.”
Leigh-Ann had been trying to seek counselling for Whitney, who suffered from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition that can cause the heart to beat abnormally, and said: “Something absolutely changed her when her mum died.”
Referring to the day her niece died, she said: “She was laughing and talking and then someone texted her and her whole mood changed.
“I went upstairs to speak to her and she said nothing was the matter. I came downstairs and later went upstairs, and she was face down on the floor. I called her three times. I tapped her arm and she didn’t answer.”
The schoolgirl’s funeral was held last Friday, at St Joseph’s Church, South Ham, followed by a burial at Worting Road Cemetery.
Andrew Bradley, the coroner for North East Hampshire, has opened an inquest into Whitney’s death, which has been adjourned until July 2 at Alton Magistrates’ Court.
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