British Teacher dies after swallowing bag of cocaine in airport lounge - Collins Uchendu's Blog

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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

British Teacher dies after swallowing bag of cocaine in airport lounge



Ex-Pat Victoria Buchanan, 42, ingested the resealable bag when it is thought she realised she still had the drug in her possession while drinking a glass of champagne after she checked in with her luggage.
The mother of three had earlier acquired £200 worth of the Class A drug during a family visit to the UK with her husband Mark a shipping company boss.
She had £60 worth of cocaine left when she decided to swallow it in the hope of getting it back to Dubai - moments later she collapsed with a severe seizure when the bag burst in her stomach.
Onlookers at Manchester Airport initially believed Mrs Buchanan was having an anaphylactic shock and administered an epipen she had in her handbag for a palm oil allergy. She died later at Wythenshawe Hospital.
The bag of cocaine was discovered during a post-mortem. Her elderly parents knew nothing of her drug taking.
Mrs Buchanan, originally from Kilmarnock, Scotland, had moved to Dubai in 2010 and worked as a teacher in the United Arab Emirates whilst her husband was believed to be head of fleet personnel for a shipping firm. She was known for helping impoverished children in Nepal through a charity set up to improve their education.
An inquest heard the tragedy occurred on March 29, 2018 after Mrs Buchanan had spent a week in Britain with her family as part of an annual visit to the UK.
Her husband told the Manchester hearing: "We were aware she would take small amounts of cocaine occasionally and it was something we did together. I had left the UK a few days before, not a lot was left not that that matters now.
"If somebody had asked her to smuggle the cocaine she would have refused, she wasn't in a position to be blackmailed I can say that 100 per cent. It wasn't the intention I definitely didn't ask her to bring it back, I spoke to the police and we agreed it was the same bag, it originally cost about £200 and there was maybe £50 or £60 left in it."

In a statement Dr Jon Hopper of Wythenshawe Hospital said: "Mrs Buchanan was brought by the ambulance at 2.34pm following a cardiac arrest at Manchester Airport. She had been seen taking an epipen and it was confirmed by the ambulance and response team that basic life support had commenced on the scene.
"The cardiac arrest lasted for one hour she remained unconscious at the hospital with no response to stimulus, she had a recorded allergy to palm oil but she previously required an admission, she reached a critical condition and her family were informed that this was a tragic and irretrievable situation.
"She died at 6.24pm on March 30. During her post-mortem a plastic resealable bag was found in her stomach and it was ruled that further examination was required."
A toxicology report read to the inquest showed amounts of cocaine at less than 0.4 milligram per litre of blood which is 'consistent with recreational use.' But levels of cocaine metabolic benzoylecgonine at much higher which is consistent with 'excessive' use.
The report added: "The obvious conclusion is that she ingested the bag and then collapsed from the level of cocaine which leaked into the stomach the bag was large, 10 x 6cm, there is no other explanation as to how it got into the stomach, there is no evidence that she suffered from an allergic reaction."
Mrs Buchanan's mother Irene Dignon, who in her 70s, said: "We couldn't understand why she would risk something for such a small amount - we couldn't understand that. There was no evidence of anything like drugs with her - she was always so anti them.
"She was always so upbeat I wouldn't have thought she needed them, it's a different world."
Mrs Buchanan's father James added: "We had no suspicion of any drug taking."
Recording a conclusion of death by misadventure assistant coroner Andrew Bridge said: "Mrs Buchanan's husband went back earlier and her flight was planned for the March 29. They were recreational users of cocaine but clearly not in Dubai given the strict regime in that country.
"I have no understanding of why Victoria would wish to have smuggled cocaine or why she would take the risks of doing so my conclusion of how she came by her death is one of misadventure.
"I give you my sympathies for the sad loss of your wife and your daughter - my question is what on earth was she thinking?"

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