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Patty Borthwick attends Inquest into the Suicide of her Daughter Hillary Hooper while in NB Hospital.
An inquest is underway into the death of 27-year-old Hillary Hooper of St. George, originally of Beaver Harbour, who died by suicide in the psychiatric unit of the Saint John Regional Hospital in December of 2020. A jury of five people was selected Monday at the Saint John Law Courts to hear evidence presented during the three-day inquest.
Several witnesses are testifying to paint the most accurate picture of the events that happened leading up to Hooper's death, including hospital staff members who were responsible for checking in on Hooper regularly while she was a psychiatric patient. Hooper’s mother, Patty Borthwick, has been in the court room for the inquest, holding a picture of her daughter and a box containing her ashes. When Borthwick left the court after Day 1, she told reporters she wanted to digest more from the inquest before publicly giving her thoughts on what she is hearing from witnesses.
Borthwick has been fighting tirelessly for answers since her daughter's death, doing everything from organizing a petition for an independent investigation into Horizon Health Network to filing requests under the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act to meeting with the Premier. Her work paid off when the request for the inquiry was granted back in November. At that time, she said that she hoped that the recommendations made by the jury will help improve the healthcare system and prevent more deaths by suicide in the future. Borthwick also said that she plans to push for legislation to be created that would make an inquest mandatory into the death of anyone by suicide in a hospital.
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