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Father’s fury over daughter’s death

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

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A GRIEF-STRICKEN father has accused the medical establishment of failing his daughter following the post-traumatic stress disorder sufferer’s sudden death at the age of 33.

Gilbert Evans hit out only days after discovering the lifeless body of his charismatic and multi-talented youngest child, Fiona, in the lounge of their home in Lightwood Road, Yoxall.

The 70-year, who is awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination on the doctoral student’s body, said: “I just feel so upset that she’s been let down by so many people who could have helped but didn’t.

“She didn’t have the support she should’ve had from the authorities - proper professional help.”

Mr Evans, whose 62-year-old wife, Iona, died of leukaemia less than five years ago, added: “There is just not the amount of understanding and help for people with mental health problems. It’s just not there.”

The retired geography lecturer’s withering assessment was backed up by his daughter’s best friend and ‘soulmate’, Michael Webster, of Forest Road, Barton under Needwood.

The 40-year-old business development manager said: “Fiona felt she was let down and just gave up.

“The skills she had were taken away because she was not treated.”

Born on April 29, 1978, at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, Miss Evans began developing her talents at St Peter’s Primary School, in King Street, Yoxall.

After attending John Taylor High School, in Dunstall Road, Barton, she completed a science degree in geography at Loughborough University and a master’s degree in global ethics at Birmingham University before working as a programme assistant for Sky in London.

Miss Evans hoped to complete her doctorate on ‘children’s environmental citizenship’ at Loughborough University later this year and had been approached by a publisher to write on the subject.

But academia was only one of her many talents.

She practised Egyptian reiki and enjoyed painting, drawing, poetry and the performing arts, as well as running, athletics, swimming and aerobics.

Mr Evans said: “Fiona was a very caring, loving and vibrant person and had such a strong social conscience about injustice.

“She was a delight to be with and a very sensitive person. If somebody else was in trouble she would be there for them.”

But his daughter was dogged by post-traumatic stress disorder for almost half her life after developing the condition due to troublesome past relationships.

Her illness was characterised by severe depression and chronic insomnia, which failed to succumb in the face of years of psychiatry and counselling.

Mr Evans said: “She had reached the stage where she was worrying unnecessarily about lots of things, which showed how troubled she was.”

He said outliving his daughter was his ‘worst nightmare’, adding: “It’s the sadness of someone so young with so many talents dying.”

Mr Webster said he was unable to sleep. He said: “I don’t think her personality can be replaced. It was so special.”

Miss Evans’ funeral is expected to be held next week at St Peter’s Church, Yoxall. It will be followed by a service at Bretby Crematorium.

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