Taly North fresher died of a caffeine overdose, inquest hears

Marty Dragonova died in May after consuming a lethal amount of caffeine


A Taly North fresher died from overdosing on caffeine in their bedroom, a hearing has heard.

Marty Dragonova, a 20-year-old Cardiff English and French Literature fresher, was found in his Taly North halls on May 29th by his flatmates.

Consultant pathologist Dr Katherine Frewer told the hearing that Marty's caffeine level was 443mg per litre of blood. This was compared to the caffeine level of somebody who would have drank one cup of coffee, whose caffeine level would have been around 3mg per litre of blood.

At around 11pm, Marty's flatmate heard crying and loud bangs from Marty's room and went to check on him. In her witness statement, Marty's housemate said she could "see inside the bathroom and could see her being sick."

Marty's flatmate said: "There was blood in her sick and coming from her nose. I thought she was drunk. She worked at the bar so I thought she might have had a few drinks after work.

"I contacted security and told [the second flatmate] to call 999. I wanted to put her in the recovery position and I managed to help her onto the bathroom floor. I checked for a pulse, but it was minimal."

Marty was born female but told family and friends that from a young age he was male and had been born in the wrong body. In 2017, Marty was diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a GP. Marty had begun saving money for transition procedures and had told family and friends about plans to transition.

The hearing was told that two notes discussing gender dysphoria, one in English and one in Bulgarian, had been found in the student's room.

The fresher, who had a "love for languages and literature" died at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Assistant Coroner Graeme Hughes said: "On the 29th of May, she had consumed an extremely high amount of caffeine with the intention to take her own life.

"She was discovered by her flatmate and she was taken to hospital but died shortly after. My conclusion is that how Marty came about her death is one of suicide."

If you’re struggling with a mental health issue, or know someone who is, please contact the Samaritans helpline on 116 123 or contact your university’s counselling service.