A MUCH-LOVED grandmother who suffered from a little-known condition took her own life to avoid becoming a burden to her family, an inquest heard.

Sandy Glyn's health had deteriorated rapidly in the months before she drowned due to Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), Dorset coroner Sheriff Payne was told.

The 62-year-old went missing from her Southbourne home on Monday February 16, leaving a "very thoughtful and caring note" for her family.

Her car was found at Southbourne Overcliff Drive that evening and a search operation mounted by police. Her body was found washed up on Mudeford beach four days later.

The Bournemouth inquest heard Sandy had suffered polio as a child and had developed PPS. She had weakness in her left arm which she feared was spreading to her other limbs.

Mr Payne was told she lived near Cirencester and worked as a housekeeper and chef until around four months before her death when she was forced to give up her job and the home that went with it.

She moved to Bournemouth to stay with one of her daughters, Tanya, but became increasingly concerned about her health.

Friend Lynn Hart told the inquest Sandy was concerned about delays in transferring her medical care from Cirencester to Bournemouth and added: "She was crying out for help. She was adamant she was not going to be a burden on her two daughters."

Recording a verdict that Sandy took her own life, Mr Payne said: "This is a terribly sad case of a woman who overcame polio as a child. She had a successful career and brought up two daughters who she clearly doted on.

"She had difficulties getting ongoing care when she transferred to Bournemouth. It would appear that the hurdles that were presented to her just became too much for her."

After the inquest, Mrs Hart said: "The family would like to thank the Echo and the emergency services for all their help when Sandy was missing. They were hoping she would be found alive.

"Sandy loved her family and she was a very loved woman. She tragically took that final decision to take her own life."

POST Polio Syndrome (PPS) is a neurological condition affecting athat can occur in people who have had polio. Around 120,000 people in the UK are affected. After a long time without any significant change in their condition, people may develop new symptoms of increasing weakness, stamina problems, fatigue and pain.

PPS can occur at any age and may affect more women than men. People who have had fatigue or pain in the years since they contracted polio, or where physical activity has caused extreme tiredness and pain, seem to be at increased risk of developing PPS, or may already be experiencing it.

PPS also seems to develop more quickly in people who had polio during the epidemics of the 50s.
Symptoms may include the following: breathing problems, swallowing problems, muscle loss, new or increasing weakness, muscle fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, cold intolerance, sleep disturbance, general fatigue.

The British Polio Fellowship is a leading charity for people affected by polio and post-polio syndrome. It provides a range of resources, information and services. Call the helpline is 0800 043 1935, or visit the British Polio Fellowship website.