Chewing gum may have played part in woman's death inquest hears

Samantha Jenkins died at the age of 19 and chewed gum to "excess". Credit: Wales News Service

The mother of a teenager who died at the age of 19 believed she had been poisoned an inquest has heard due to chewing gum to excess.

Samantha Jenkins of Llanelli died in 2011, she complained of a severe headache and suffered fits, she later slipped into a coma and died in her mother's arms three days later at Morriston Hospital.

At the inquest in Swansea her mother Maria Morgan said she was asked by authorities if anyone would poison her daughter and was asked to look for any herbal remedies that she may have taken.

The inquest heard that Sam was always chewing gum and had done so for years. Her mother believed the ingredients in the sugar free gum had poisoned her.

In the months leading up to death she had complained of feeling ill, with flu-like symptoms and that she couldn't sleep and was not feeling herself.

Pathologist Dr Anthony Paul Griffiths, who carried out the postmortem, told the inquest that Samanth's brain was swollen as a consequence no oxygen.

He had found four or five lumps of green chewing gum in stomach but there were no signs of drugs or alcohol.

In evidence Dr Griffiths said the 19-year-old had low minerals in her system and if she was taking enough chewing gum it would have a laxative effect, which in turn would lead to some mineral deficiency.

The cause of death was given as due to a shortage of oxides to the brain because of convulsions due to a magnesium deficiency.

Coroner Colin Phillips gave a narrative verdict - saying Samantha died due to complications from convulsions and her chewing gum consumption may have contributed to the lack of minerals.