Transgender student, 20, died after overdosing on caffeine tablets

A young student died after overdosing on caffeine tablets – taking the equivalent of 147 cups of coffee.

Marty Dragonova, 20, who was studying English and French at Cardiff University was found being violently sick by a concerned flatmate after taking the tablets.

Marty, who was born female but had told family and friends he knew from a young age they were male.  

Marty Dragonova, 20, who was studying English and French at Cardiff University was found being violently sick by a concerned flatmate after taking the tablets. Marty, who was born female but had told family and friends he knew from a young age they were male

Marty Dragonova, 20, who was studying English and French at Cardiff University was found being violently sick by a concerned flatmate after taking the tablets. Marty, who was born female but had told family and friends he knew from a young age they were male

Marty Dragonova, 20, who was studying English and French at Cardiff University was found being violently sick by a concerned flatmate after taking the tablets. Marty, who was born female but had told family and friends he knew from a young age they were male

An inquest hearing at Pontypridd Coroner’s Court heard that Marty’s caffeine level was 442mg per litre of blood – after one cup of coffee, the caffeine level is around 3mg per litre of blood.

Evidence heard at the inquest detailed how Marty’s flatmate said she heard crying and loud bangs coming from Marty’s room at around 11pm on May 29.

She, and another flatmate, went to check on Marty, and saw the bedroom door was propped open with a door wedge.

In her witness statement, the first flatmate said: ‘I could see inside the bathroom and could see her being sick.

‘There was blood in her sick and coming from her nose. I thought she was drunk. She worked at the bar so I thought she might have had a few drinks after work.

‘I contacted security and told [the second flatmate] to call 999. I wanted to put her in the recovery position and I managed to help her onto the bathroom floor.

‘I checked for a pulse, but it was minimal.’

Dr Katherine Frewer, a consultant pathologist said: ‘443mg per litre of is considered to be fatal.’

An inquest hearing at Pontypridd Coroner's Court heard that Marty's caffeine level was 442mg per litre of blood - after one cup of coffee, the caffeine level is around 3mg per litre of blood. Marty was pronounced dead at Cardiff Hospital (pictured) despite paramedics best efforts

An inquest hearing at Pontypridd Coroner's Court heard that Marty's caffeine level was 442mg per litre of blood - after one cup of coffee, the caffeine level is around 3mg per litre of blood. Marty was pronounced dead at Cardiff Hospital (pictured) despite paramedics best efforts

An inquest hearing at Pontypridd Coroner’s Court heard that Marty’s caffeine level was 442mg per litre of blood – after one cup of coffee, the caffeine level is around 3mg per litre of blood. Marty was pronounced dead at Cardiff Hospital (pictured) despite paramedics best efforts

She said the most likely cause of death was caffeine toxicity.

The English and French literature student had been in the process of a gender transition having known from young age that he was male and had been born in the wrong body.

His flatmate heard crying and banging coming coming from the room in May. Notes were found in the university halls of residence in which Marty discussed gender dysphoria.

Assistant Coroner Graeme Hughes said it was clear that Marty intended to take her own life.

He said: ‘She had consumed an extremely high amount of caffeine with the intention to take her own life.

‘She was discovered by her flatmate and she was taken to hospital but died shortly after. My conclusion is that how Marty came about her death is one of suicide.’ 

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