Tributes paid to ‘bubbly’ Eastbourne teenager

Tributes have been paid to a ‘bubbly’ and ‘bright’ Eastbourne teenager who died at the DGH.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 1:22 pm

Shaylen Deborah Dowling, 19, died in Eastbourne DGH on August 4, 2020 after she was found unconscious in her bathroom.

Miss Dowling, who was a bar worker, was found in her Elms Avenue home after phoning a friend in distress who subsequently called the ambulance service.

The inquest, which was held in Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday, July 15, heard how Miss Dowling did not have any drugs in her system but did record a blood alcohol level of 112mg per 100ml.

Eastbourne Town Hall.
Eastbourne Town Hall.

Toxicologist Rob Moore said this amount of alcohol would result in ‘moderate intoxication’.

According to DGH intensive care consultant Dr Alex Trimmings, Miss Dowling never regained consciousness after she was found.

The inquest also heard how Miss Dowling had suffered with mental illnesses in the past including borderline personality disorder while also dealing with anxiety.

East Sussex Coroner Alan Craze said, “Regardless of the diagnosis she had a clear mental illness.”

Dr John Murphy, who spoke to Miss Dowling over the phone before her death, said, “She really had hopes for the future.

“She had been so bubbly and bright and optimistic and hopeful.”

The inquest heard that staff at the DGH attempted to save Miss Dowling before she died.

Mr Craze said, “The thing she was most at risk of was self-harm and ultimately suicide.”

The corner added, “What happens in a case like this is an absolute tragedy.”

Mr Craze came to the verdict of suicide.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help - the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.