A BROTHER found his sister’s body after she took her own life in a bath, an inquest heard.

Brighton-born Amy Kesteven was living with her mother Katherine Ford in Portslade.

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with personality disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder and had been living with chronic fatigue since the age of about nine.

She killed herself when she was home alone, an inquest heard.

Her brother, Sam Kesteven, was in “complete and utter shock” when he found her body the following morning.

At the time of her death, Ms Kesteven and her mother were suffering from a serious case of gastroenteritis.

Mr Kesteven, who lived separately with his girlfriend, had arranged for a private doctor to visit the home to treat them.

After concerning blood test results, Dr Siegfried Trefzer, practising in Uckfield, arranged for an ambulance to take both women to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

But Ms Kesteven, known to have an obsession of self-medicating with supplements and vitamins through her own research, convinced paramedics she was fit enough to stay home alone.

The inquest, held at the Brighton and Hove Coroner’s court in Woodvale, heard the ambulance crew said she had the mental capacity to decline hospital admission, and her general medical check-up was normal.

Mr Kesteven found his sister’s body the next morning in the bath.

There was also a note from her in the bathroom.

He said he had been with his sister the night before and trusted she was well enough to stay alone.

In a statement read out in court he said: “In the week leading up to her death she was expressing suicidal thoughts, but I never thought she would do it. I trusted her.

“What I found was a complete and utter shock and I was not expecting it at all.”

Ms Kesteven took her own life during what her brother described as a period of “family crisis” on November 14 last year.

She and her mother had been in bed for days with an illness causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

And the family were also having to cope with the anniversary of the death of their husband and father, Nicholas Kesteven, who took his own life two years previously.

Coroner for Brighton and Hove Veronica Hamilton Deeley said: “It’s an unusual situation of a young woman diagnosed with chronic fatigue for many years which completely blighted her life, who is determined to go back to education, but even with the support, she would not manage her course.

“And I think they [Ms Kesteven and her mother] succumbed to this illness which put their electrolyte completely out of kilter.

“It seems to me like Amy really reached the end of her tether and the evidence she left shows she very much had the intention.”

The post-mortem examination showed the cause of Ms Kesteven’s death was drowning and alcohol consumption.

Ms Hamilton-Deeley said: “I certainly can’t ignore the emotionally unstable personality disorder which is an incredibly difficult diagnosis to live with, and her chronic fatigue.”

She said the young woman, aspiring to return to education, used the opportunity of a night alone in the house.

She concluded Ms Kesteven took her own life.

Coroner’s officer Tony Beldam said: “Sam has been a huge support for her.

“He has been an absolute pillar for her and her mother.

“He’s still deeply affected.”

Anyone experiencing emotional distress and struggling to cope, can contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org 

Alternatively you can call PAPYRUS, a charity for the prevention of young suicide on 0800 068 4141, 10am to 10pm on weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends, text 0778 620 9697 or email: pat@papyrus-uk.org