Tribute to ‘fun-loving’ Horsham mum who died from accidental prescription overdose

Marisa Ansley SUS-191206-141148001
Marisa Ansley SUS-191206-141148001

A Horsham family have paid tribute to their ‘fun-loving’ mum who tragically died following an accidental overdose of prescription medicine.

At an inquest at Crawley Coroner’s Court yesterday (June 11) heard that 50-year-old Marisa Ansley was found dead at her home in Eversfield, Southwater, in February.

Marisa’s family said the mother-of-three would be greatly missed.

“Marisa was a fun-loving mum, nanny, daughter and sister who adored her four grandchildren,” they said in a tribute.

“She loved spending time with her friends, husband and family. She was a very family orientated person, who enjoyed having the grandchildren round as much as possible, enjoyed playing golf and having lunches with her close friends.

“Really, she was a big kid at heart who loved to have a laugh.

“As a family we have a massive hole in our hearts – she will be greatly missed by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.”

The inquest heard Marisa suffered a heart attack five years ago which, coupled with arthiritis, greatly reduced her mobility.

This, plus an overactive thyroid and medication for her arthiritis, made it difficult to lose weight and in December 2018 she suffered another heart attack.

She regularly took the painkiller tramadol, and her daughter told the inquest she would regularly take double the dose to deal with her pain and help her to sleep.

On February 10, Marisa called her three daughters and told them she was going to take some tramadol and spend the day in bed.

That evening, she was found unresponsive in her bed and police officers found 280 empty tablet packets scattered around her bedroom.

She was pronounced dead at 7.02pm on February 10.

The level of tramadol and dihydrocodeine in her system was described as ‘severe’ rather than ‘fatal’ by coroner Penelope Schofield.

At the inquest, her daughters said she was known to take her tablets and discard the packaging around the room, including down the back of the bedside drawers and headboard, which would explain the number of empty packages.

The coroner’s officer confirmed many packets were found down the back of the furniture in the bedroom.

Summarising, Ms Schofield agreed the number of boxes were not evidence of Marisa’s intentions.

“It is clear she had taken a considerable amount of drugs,” she said. “But I can’t, on balance of probabilities, find that there was an intention to take her own life.

“Therefore, it appears to be an accidental drugs overdose and, therefore, the conclusion I will record is it is a drug related death. On the evidence, this appears to be an accidental drugs overdose.”