A CARING mum died after collapsing at home from heart difficulties.

Samantha Gregory had been experiencing blackouts, and her heart stopped at her home in Peacehaven.

The 38-year-old had battled drink and drugs and had suffered anxiety and depression since she was a teenager.

Her husband desperately tried to resuscitate her, and paramedics arrived within minutes to treat her.

But the mum-of-three died six days later at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, having never regained consciousness.

Her family described her as a caring mum, who put other people’s problems ahead of her own.

An inquest into Mrs Gregory’s death at Brighton Coroner’s Court, Woodvale Crematorium, found that her brain had been starved of oxygen from the collapse.

Cocaine and alcohol use had contributed to an occasional irregular heartbeat.

Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said: “It seems like she was a lovely person that was very brave. She was an outgoing and generous person who wanted to help everyone.”

Coroner’s officer Claire Rogers said that Mrs Gregory’s husband had witnessed his wife suffer small blackouts in recent months.

At first be believed his wife had suffered another episode, but quickly realised the emergency and called 999.

Paramedics battled for more than an hour to save her life before taking her immediately to the Intensive Care Unit in May this year.

There were some minor improvements, but MRI brain scans revealed the extent of injuries to her brain.

Mrs Gregory’s condition deteriorated, and she died in the early hours of May 24.

Ms Hamilton-Deeley said cocaine was the more likely factor than alcohol in affecting Mrs Gregory’s heartbeat rhythm, called arrhythmia or dysrhythmia.

Over time, it led to extra strain being put on her heart, which was slightly enlarged.

Pathologist Dr David Wright suggested it was possible that this, and a weak blood vessel meant her heart was not able to pump enough blood to the brain.

The coroner recorded a conclusion of misadventure, and warned about the dangers of taking cocaine.

She said: “I’m not criticising anyone’s life choices, she was a grown woman.

"For some people, you would not use it if you were not in a bad place, and for some, no matter how short a period, it is worth it. But it is like playing Russian roulette.

"It is an easy thing to say not to do it, but stopping is easier said than done.

“Cocaine is cardio-toxic. Any time you take it you are more likely to produce an arrhythmia which could kill you.

"It is best not to take it, especially with alcohol, but that advice is ignored by millions every day.”