A pregnant mother-of-two who jumped in front of a train because she thought her unborn daughter could be born disfigured was let down by mental health professionals, her family said today.
After a two-week inquest, a coroner ruled that Zdenka Yabani intentionally killed herself after finding out her child had a five per cent chance of developing a genetic abnormality four days before her death.
The 39-year-old Royal Mail worker had been seen by a series of clinicians but GPs had failed to recollect details from their appointments.
It was also not known if Mrs Yabani had been taking medication, the inquest heard.
Zdenka Yabani, 39, pictured with her Ghanaian husband Jude, and their two children, intentionally killed herself, a coroner ruled, after finding out her child had a five per cent chance of developing a genetic abnormality four days before her death
Just two days after her eldest son’s 10th birthday, the mother-of-two walked to Slough railway station, the coroner heard.
The eight-months pregnant woman bought herself a ticket before running across the platform and jumping in front of a non-stop intercity train.
The train sped through the station at 115mph – instantly killing her and her unborn child.
Her husband Jude Yabani, a Minister at St Andrews Church in Slough, Berkshire, had told the inquest how he had been scared by seeing his wife doused in diesel fuel during a previous incident of poor mental health.
Just two days after her eldest son’s 10th birthday, the mother-of-two kissed her children goodbye as they went to school and walked to Slough railway station, the coroner heard
The religious pair met while they were both living in the Czech Republic, before separately travelling to America and reconnecting.
The couple married and moved to Manchester in July 2005.
Mr Yabani and his family, in a family statement released today, said: ‘Zdenka Yabani was a lovely woman and much loved by those who knew her.
‘She was a wonderful and loving wife, and a very good and caring mother to her two sons. As a family, we felt blessed to have Zdenka in our lives.
‘Sadly, Zdenka had suffered from bipolar disorder over many years.
‘The family are grateful to the Assistant Coroner for exploring the issues surrounding the care provided to her during her pregnancy in detail and, in particular, the failings of the health providers to provide Zdenka with mental health care and support and to refer her for specialist mental health care.
Two days after her eldest son’s 10th birthday, the mother-of-two kissed her children goodbye as they went to school and she walked to Slough railway station before jumping in front of a high speed train, an inquest heard
‘The inquest has heard evidence from the health providers concerned with Zdenka’s care and that, as a result of her death, they have made numerous improvements in the provision of care for pregnant women suffering from serious mental illness, including new referral pathways and protocols.
‘We hope that, in the future, health professionals will have greater awareness of mental health issues in pregnancy and that every woman suffering from serious mental health conditions will receive the specialist perinatal mental health care that they need.
‘It is very much hoped that the health providers will continue to address the failures identified by them in their internal reports in order to minimise the likelihood of a similar tragedy happening again.’
Although the assistant coroner for Berkshire, Alison McCormick, concluded the inquest in Reading Coroner’s Court by identifying the failings of several clinicians, she did not deem those failings amounted to neglect.
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