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Woman who drilled hole in skull died ten years later of overdose

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 07, 2012

problems:  Heather Perry.

Heather Perry.

TRAGIC Heather Perry died from a drug overdose 10 years after trying to cure her mental health problems by drilling a hole in her skull, an inquest heard.

Ms Perry, 41, had long-term problems with addiction and had been arrested two days before her death on suspicion of supplying drugs, the Gloucester inquest was told.

Assistant deputy Gloucestershire coroner Katy Skerrett recorded a verdict that Ms Perry, of Golden Valley, Upleadon, died from dependence on drugs. She was found dead in the public toilets in Watery Lane, Newent.

Ten years ago Ms Perry became one of only a handful of people in recent times to try the bizarre practice known as trepanning – drilling a hole in the head.

It is said to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases or to relieve pressure on the brain.

Ms Perry hit the headlines when she performed the procedure on herself with an electric drill on American TV.

She said it was a last-ditch effort to cure her depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.

But she drilled too deep and was rushed to hospital.

After her inquest, her brother Keith said: "She thought the trepanning would be the answer to all her problems of depression and addiction but obviously it wasn't. I do wonder whether it actually had an effect on her brain and led to what happened later but we shall never know.

"I think she had been dallying with drugs since her schooldays. There was medical help on offer but she just kept on going back to the same people and to drugs."

In an interview in 2008, she said she had tried trepanning after hearing that John Lennon once talked of attempting it.

Pathologist Dr Jonathan Christie-Brown said Ms Perry died from the toxic effects of morphine and diazepam.

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