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GP who became 'overwhelmed' during pandemic stabbed herself to death with knife in woodland

Dr Gail Milligan died of massive blood loss after using a knife to inflict fatal stab wounds to her body

An overworked GP who felt ‘the unbearable pressure of his job was finally getting to him’ stabbed himself to death in the woods, an inquest heard today.

Dr Gail Milligan died of massive blood loss after using a knife to stab her to death.

The 47-year-old was found dead in Swinley Forest, near Crowthorne, Berkshire, on July 28 after her husband reported her missing when she went missing after finishing work the night before.

During a police search for the mother the next day, her body was discovered by officers.

In a public post online, her husband, Christopher, revealed that she had been severely overworked during the pandemic while based at Camberley Health Center in Surrey.

He wrote on Facebook that “the unbearable pressure of her job finally got to her”, adding: “We have no doubt that the job made her sick.”

Mr Milligan originally shared the post in a Facebook group, but it has since been shared widely on Twitter after he gave permission to post it.

Dr Gail Milligan died of massive blood loss after using a knife to inflict fatal stab wounds to her body

Dr Gail Milligan died of massive blood loss after using a knife to inflict fatal stab wounds to her body

Dr Milligan graduated from the University of Manchester in 1998 and trained as a general practitioner in Reading before joining Camberley Health Center in 2003.

Dr Milligan graduated from the University of Manchester in 1998 and trained as a general practitioner in Reading before joining Camberley Health Center in 2003.

Opening the inquest at Reading Coroner’s Court, Deputy Coroner Katy Thorne KC said: ‘We have been informed that Gail Milligan was born on 19th August 1974 and her usual address is Cutbush Lane West, Shinfield, Berskhire.

“She died in Swinley Forest, Crowthorne and the circumstances were that Gail was a GP and her husband reported her as missing on July 27 late at night.

“She had been at her practice that day and she was found in Swinley Forest the next morning.

“Police added that the death did not appear suspicious and the cause of death provided was massive blood loss followed by a history of depression. His identity was confirmed by the police.

“Due to the unnatural aspects of the death, this case will be listed for inquest on a date to be confirmed. I would like to register my condolences for the friends and family of the deceased at this time.

Dr Milligan graduated from the University of Manchester in 1998 and trained as a general practitioner in Reading before joining Camberley Health Center in 2003.

Christopher Milligan said his wife’s suicide was not a cry for help, it was clearly the only way for her to see her suffering end.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Mr Milligan said: ‘We have no doubt that the work has made her sick. Her work as a partner in a medical practice became overwhelming. Especially during the pandemic.

Mr Milligan originally shared the post in a Facebook group, but it has since been shared widely on Twitter after he gave permission to post it.

Mr Milligan originally shared the post in a Facebook group, but it has since been shared widely on Twitter after he gave permission to post it.

Mr Milligan described how his wife was also a human resources manager at the surgery and received an email that hit her so hard she never got over it.

He continued: ‘She went into a deep, deep depression from Monday to Wednesday when she took her own life. We tried to intervene. Her colleagues did everything to get her out of there.

‘Offering to take over for her and trying to reassure her that she was thinking of a wrong situation. It was wrong.

“She had lost the ability to think rationally. Something had gone wrong in his head. By the time we realized what was happening, it was already too late.

“It’s such a sad waste of a wonderful, beautiful, funny and absolutely bananas wife, mother and doctor.

“Next time you hear someone talk about lazy doctors, stop and think about what happened to my wife. We have no doubt that work made her sick.

“My boys and I are broken. Specially me. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again.

“We were together for 30 years this year. It was almost always lots of laughs and fun with huge amounts of fucking.

“My boys lost their mother and I lost my best friend.”

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local branch of the Samaritans. See www.samaritans.org for details

‘There just aren’t enough GPs to cope, and now there’s one less’: Full heartbreaking message from Dr Gail Milligan’s husband

I’m afraid this message isn’t my usual diarrhea and garbage. Apologies. My wife died on Wednesday. She disappeared for almost 24 hours before a team of search and rescue dogs found her body in a forest. The unbearable pressure of her job finally got to her. For years, she has given everything she has to others, in her professional life as well as in her private life. She was truly the best of us.

“His work as a partner in a medical practice has become overwhelming. Especially during the pandemic. She saw patients face to face all the time, as well as the incredible amount of phone consultations that were happening. She saw elderly people die in nursing homes during the pandemic and worked in vaccination centers. She was responsible for training several GPs over the years, currently training three. She has also worked with other medical organizations like the CCG and many others. All that, and his patients too.

“The pressure not to make mistakes, the endless emails and paperwork meant that for the last years of her life she neglected herself. She used to leave for work at 6:45 a.m. and only return home between 7:30 and 8 p.m. When she got home, she usually worked until I put her to bed at 11 p.m.

He was a “lazy” four days a week. On her “lazy” day off on Thursday, she worked about 12 hours. Meetings on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, endless emails and calls. This has shifted into weekends more recently. The same workload all weekend. Very recently, she didn’t even have time to walk her dog for an hour. All this and practice business management. Human resources was also her responsibility, and unfortunately, that turned out to be the thing that broke her.

“Last Sunday afternoon, she opened an email that hit her so hard she never got over it. She went into a deep, deep depression from Monday to Wednesday when she s committed suicide. We tried to intervene. Her colleagues did everything to get her out of it. Offer to take over and try to reassure her that she was wrong to think of a situation. was wrong. She had lost the ability to think rationally. Something had gone wrong in her head. By the time we realized what was happening, it was already too late. Her colleagues told her to take some time off on Wednesday afternoon and go home.

She never came home. Instead, she went to a forest, ducked deep there where she would be almost impossible to find, and killed herself in the most violently shocking way. It was not a cry for help. It was clearly the only way for her to see her suffering stop. It has been suggested that she suffered from a psychotic episode. If you knew my wife, you would know how far from normal all of this is for her. She was so proud of our boys and would never have dreamed of doing anything to hurt them. However, mental illness had other ideas. Looking back and talking to friends and family, I think she had been hiding it for years, while helping other people deal with their own mental health, she neglected hers.

It’s such a sad waste of a wonderful, beautiful, funny and absolutely crazy wife, mother and doctor. Everywhere something that had no relation to reality. Next time you hear someone talk about lazy doctors, stop and think about what happened to my wife. We have no doubt that the work made her sick. Me and my boys are broken. Specially me. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. We were together for thirty years this year. It was almost always lots of laughs and fun with huge amounts of fucking. My boys lost their mother and I lost my best friend.

Sorry for this message. I would like to say that normal service will resume, but it will not. I’m broken. And finally… an hour after finding out that Gail was dead, I had to take our dog to put her to sleep. An aggressive cancer had torn her apart at a frantic pace. She spent her last 24 hours huddled between two policemen on our couch.

The police stayed with me from the time I reported my wife missing until they found her… And a bit longer too. I will be forever grateful to Thames Valley Police and Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue, who were the team that found her. No wife. No mother for our boys. No dog. And I thought losing my dad a year ago was bad. What was I thinking? There simply aren’t enough GPs to cope, and now there’s one less.

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