Isobel Maxwell-Cameron had a history of depression.
A "young, talented, intelligent" University of Otago
graduate who moved from New Zealand to Britain to pursue her
promising chemistry career committed suicide after suffering
severe loneliness and homesickness, an inquest has heard.
A coroner described the death of Dr Isobel Maxwell-Cameron as
a "tragedy of utmost proportion".
The 25-year-old former Epsom Girls' Grammar School pupil took
up an organic chemistry research post at the University of
Manchester last October, the Daily Mail reported.
But she struggled with what she saw as failure of her
laboratory experiments, and became disillusioned with her
The paper reported that she made a failed suicide attempt on
January 6, and police found her body in her Manchester flat
on Saturday, January 11, after the alarm was raised by her
mother in Auckland.
An inquest in Bolton was read a statement from her mother,
Priscilla Cameron, the Daily Mail reported.
Mrs Cameron said her daughter, who had a history of
depression, had wanted to return home after struggling with
work and the death of her grandfather.
"She was passionate about science. When she got the job in
England she was so anxious about moving from a small city to
a large city on the other side of the world," Mrs Cameron
"But she was very outgoing and friendly and expecting to make
new friends. She managed her depression by always having a
hobby outside of study."
Dr Maxwell-Cameron, who graduated from the University of
Otago in 2010 with a first-class chemistry bachelor of
science degree, enjoyed karate, rowing, acrobatics and fire
Her mother told the inquest her daughter had been alone at
Christmas, and she seemed a bit low.
On January 6, Isobel phoned her mother to say she had tried
to take her own life.
"She said she was feeling the worst she had ever felt," her
mother told the inquest.
After speaking to her mother, Isobel saw a psychiatrist and
was prescribed anti-depressants.
Mrs Cameron tried calling and texting her daughter and when
she got no reply, she phoned local police.
"I regret not encouraging her to come home and not calling
her on Saturday night," the Mail reported Mrs Cameron as
telling the inquest.
Manchester West Coroner Alan Walsh said he found Dr
Maxwell-Cameron's death "to be an enormous tragedy".
"A young, talented, intelligent, vibrant young lady who came
to England from New Zealand believing she was going to
further her education by contributing in terms of research to
projects that might benefit others," he said. "It is a
tragedy of utmost proportion."
Otago University's Professor David Larsen, who supervised Dr
Maxwell-Cameron's PhD work on the chemical synthesis of
molecules, was devastated by the news.
"We were all shocked and deeply saddened by the events
earlier this year and it has affected a lot of people," he
Where to get help:
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