A Zimbabwean-born nurse who was found by his wife unresponsive in bed in the United Kingdom in October 2022 had a “profound and fatal” level of alcohol in his system, a post-mortem has revealed.
The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Stephen “Stavo” Chidawa (45) had finished a night shift and had gone to bed at the couple’s Gipton home in the morning on 21 October 2022.
He was found by his wife, Stacy Chidawa unresponsive in bed around 12 PM that same day.
An inquest into Chidawa’s death held at Wakefield Coroner’s Court this week heard evidence from his wife and a work colleague.
They both said he showed no signs of being drunk that day and there were no empty bottles in the house.
Stacy, who was married to Stavo for 15 years, said he enjoyed a social drink but was not drinking secretly and knew instantly when he was drunk.
Recording an open verdict, senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin said:
It would be easier to fathom if you found lots of empty alcohol bottles but there was nothing. I would expect paramedics to say there was a profound smell of alcohol from him but there was no mention of it.
We are left with a mystery. It is one of the highest levels I have ever seen and I must confess, I’m stumped.
The circumstances are so bizarre. It’s unlikely he was hiding a secret habit.
I’m sufficiently puzzled as to where he could get such a quantity of alcohol.
Chidawa was found to have 523 mlgs of alcohol in 100 mls of urine. McLoughlin said the limit for driving is 107 mlgs.
There were also traces of sedative drugs, zolpidem and clonazepam.
Stacy, who is a hospital social worker, said her husband arrived at their Beech Mount home at around 9 AM, showered, and then went to bed.
She said at around 12 noon she heard him sneezing and went to see him, tried to wake him but was “lifeless”. Stacy said:
He did not smell alcohol, there were no clues. When he was intoxicated you could see it.
Maybe he could fool someone else, but I would pick up on it if he had a drink.
If I had seen him intoxicated I would have been asking questions, but he didn’t present that way.
Chidawa left Zimbabwe for the UK in 1998 to study nursing at Leeds University.
He later worked at numerous hospitals, including the Newsam Centre in Seacroft and Lynfield Mount Hospital in Bradford.