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Stuart Broad's Stepmother Kills Self To Escape Motor Neuron Disease

The wife of former England cricketer Chris Broad took her own life after battling with motor neurone disease, an inquest heard on Wednesday, reports The Mail. .Michelle Broad, known as Miche, who was stepmother to
PTI September 15, 2010 22:46 IST
The wife of former England cricketer Chris Broad took her own life after battling with motor neurone disease, an inquest heard on Wednesday, reports The Mail. .

Michelle Broad, known as Miche, who was stepmother to Chris' England star son Stuart, was found collapsed at her home in West Bridgford, Nottingham, in July.

She was taken to the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, by husband Chris, the father of current England and Nottinghamshire cricketer Stuart, but died the next day.

The inquest in Nottingham heard that Mr Broad had 'no inkling at all' that his wife was planning to commit suicide.

Mrs Broad, who had a successful career organising golf tournaments across the world, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year.

The degenerative neurological condition meant the 60-year-old could not swallow properly and was increasingly reliant on her wheelchair.

The hearing was told Mrs Broad sent out an e-mail to friends on July 6, the day before she was found collapsed.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had taken a fatal combination of drugs diazepam and tramadolin.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Notts coroner Dr Nigel Chapman said he understood why Mrs Broad took her own life.

He added: 'Clearly she had made a lot of plans. There are a lot of letters. This was well planned and well laid out.'

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Broad said his wife only began to struggle with the neurological illness in the last few months of her life.

He said: 'Up until that time she had as normal a life as possible. Fortunately she didn't struggle for long.'

Mr Broad added he had no idea that his wife planned to take her own life.

He said: 'That was the first I knew. It was of her choosing. She was very clear about that.'

It was while working on the Johnnie Walker Classic golf tournament in Australia in February last year that Mrs Broad noticed the first signs of motor neurone disease.

Talking to the Mail earlier this year, she said: 'I was having a glass of wine with a friend and suddenly began talking as if I had drunk at least ten, a confusing experience to have.

'It was very odd. Then, when I went on to Perth for the golf tournament, I started getting painful cramps in my hands and arms and a strange tingling in my fingers.'

Mrs Broad consulted the tournament doctor and was immediately sent to see a local neurologist.

He recommended that she visit Professor Pamela Shaw, an expert on motor neurone disease, when she returned home.

After the appointment with Professor Shaw in May last year, Mrs Broad was asked to return for her results ten days later.

She added: 'When, just before my appointment, she asked for Chris to come with me, I suddenly became very nervous. The diagnosis was motor neurone disease.'

Mrs Broad was diagnosed with the bulbar palsy variation of the disease, which affects the muscles used for talking, chewing and swallowing first.

She said: 'I know my life has been curtailed, but I am a very positive person and my attitude is that as there is nothing I can do about it, I am going to try to live each day as it comes.

'I am not going to sit in a corner and think, my life has been severely curtailed. I have got things to do and places to go.'

She revealed then that she never intended to see the disease through to the end.

'I don't want to stay around if I can't speak and am absolutely determined not to end up as a blob,' she said.

'I am so determined not to go on beyond a certain point that I have made my own plans.

'I will have to wait until Chris is out of the way or they may prosecute him and I don't want him to get into trouble'

In a statement at the time of her death Mr Broad, 52, said: 'It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my wife, Miche.

'She has been battling bravely with motor neurone disease for some time now. Miche was the most energetic woman with an effervescent personality and a real zest for life. She was a remarkable person who radiated joy and energy to those around her.

'While devastated at her passing, it is at least some consolation for those of us who loved her that she is no longer suffering and she is now in a better place.

'I wish to thank all those who have been so kind to Miche, me and my family since she was first diagnosed and I know she too was touched by the support and affection she received from our friends and acquaintances around the world.'