Pregnant woman who feared baby might be deformed ‘star jumped’ in front of train

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A woman who feared that the medication she took to control her bipolar disorder could have caused the baby she was carrying to be born with a deformity took her own life, an inquest was told.

Royal Mail worker Zdenka Yabani had become severely depressed after after a scan revealed news that her baby daughter was "small" and might have a facial abnormality.

Zdenka, 39, was eight months pregnant when she “star jumped” in front of a fast-moving express train at Slough station.

It was revealed that she had previously feared that the medication she was taking to manage her condition might have an adverse effect on a baby she was carrying.

In 2012, Zdenka underwent a secret abortion rather than continue with a pregnancy that she thought might result in a child being born with a deformity.

Zdenka’s husband, church minister Jude Yabani, told how she had suffered a severe episode just weeks before her death where she doused herself in diesel fuel. "It was completely out of the blue,” he said. “It scared me. I was going to call the mental health service team but she said she did not want them to visit, she said they interfered with her marriage and her pregnancy.

"Usually when she had an episode, the signs were lack of sleep, lack of appetite and being angry but she was normal before and after the incident."

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The inquest was told that Zdenka was admitted to hospital eight times between 2005 and 2015, with half of those admissions being pregnancy-related.

Jude said: "We were aware that pregnancy was a difficult time for her in terms of her mental health. With our first child, she had severe postnatal depression. She had to be admitted to hospital two weeks after we came home.

"After the birth of our second child, she relapsed and was admitted to hospital again.

"We had a discussion about having another child, I told her we had two wonderful children and I did not feel it was necessary to have a third and I thought she agreed."

Nevertheless, she fell pregnant a third time and the couple were delighted to learn that they were expecting a baby girl.

It was a bitter blow for her, though, as on January 2, 2018 she was told by doctors of the potential problems the baby might have.

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Zdenka was keen to give birth in a different hospital for this third child. That decision resulted in a letter from the Overseas Department advising the couple that they would have to pay to transfer hospitals as neither had been born in the UK. This news sent Zdenka into a very depressed state, assistant coroner Alison Mccormick heard.

Jude told the hearing on Thursday: "She kept saying 'this country doesn't want me' and 'nobody wants me here'. I did not think she was suffering a relapse at the time although it did not occur to me. I was trying to get rid of her sadness.”

On January 8, 2018, Zdenka left the letter about the hospital fees open on her computer and walked to Slough railway station. She was eight months pregnant.

A Great Western Railway employee, Anna Bodja, who witnessed the tragic death, said: "I heard the fast train approaching, I heard the announcement and I saw the announcement on the board.

"I noticed a woman in a white jacket back away and start running across the platform. She did a star jump in front of the train, it lasted a second or two."

Pathologist Dr Rezan Guardi confirmed that Zdenka had died from multiple injuries.

Paying tribute to his late wife, Jude added: "Zdenka was a lovely woman, I was blessed to have her in my life. She was caring and a good mother.

"When she was well, we never had confrontations, the only time we argued was when she didn't want to take her medication. I will never regret having her in my life."

The inquest will continue on Monday.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

  • Royal Mail

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