Today we share important news with you all: Kara’s death certificate has been issued, and it records myalgic encephalomyelitis as the underlying cause of her death. The primary cause was sepsis, a condition she suffered countless times due to her M.E-related immune dysfunction.
As many of you will be aware, poor understanding of M.E has meant that deaths are rarely officially attributed to the illness. When Kara’s friend Merryn Crofts died in 2017, she was said to be “only the second person in the UK to have her death recorded as a result of ME”.
It is a great comfort to Kara’s family and friends that M.E is on her death certificate. Like many others with the illness, Kara’s suffering was often dismissed and she had to fight hard to be believed. We know that it would have meant a great deal to her for the severity of her M.E to be recognised in this way. Kara had suffered from M.E for sixteen years, and became so ill that she was completely bedridden, needing oxygen, morphine and twenty-four hour nursing. (More about Kara here.)
As you will know, Kara was passionate about the need for postmortem research into M.E. Sadly, lack of funding meant that she was unable to have a research postmortem herself – a wasted opportunity to gain vital insight into what was happening in her body. This highlights the importance of Kara’s dream of setting up a dedicated research centre.
Kara’s family wish to thank everyone for their incredible support this week. Messages have flooded in, as have donations to Kara’s fund. Her album It’s Still M.E re-entered the Amazon and iTunes charts, and news of her death was reported by the BBC. On Wednesday evening, people around the world joined together in lighting a candle for Kara.
We will be posting again soon with details of her funeral, and suggestions of ways in which we can all commemorate Kara.