'Sophie would do whatever she could to help others. She just couldn't help herself'

Leisa Towle (R) and her daughter Sophie (R) smiling in family photo
-Credit: (Image: Supplied)

A girl whose family spoke out about her traumatic experience whilst in the care of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has died aged 22. Sophie Towle, from Mapperley, passed away after collapsing at Sherwood Oaks Hospital on Monday, May 27.

A post-mortem examination said that she had died of natural causes. An inquest is now expected to be opened into the full circumstances surrounding her death.

Paying tribute, her mother Leisa said: "She was very kind and generous despite her mental health issues. She looked after other people because she could, when she couldn't even look after herself. I've had lots of messages from people saying Sophie helped them in their darkest minutes. She's going to be missed by so many people - more than she realised.

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"Lots of people told her how much they loved her and what they thought of her but she never really believed it because of her EUPD (emotionally unstable personality disorder). She'd do anything for you. She did shopping for my parents during coronavirus when they couldn't go out. She'd do whatever she could to help others. She just couldn't help herself."

Sophie was first admitted to Nottinghamshire Healthcare's Highbury Hospital in September 2021. After stints at Highbury and Sherwood Oaks in Nottinghamshire, she ended up at Tickhill Road Hospital in Doncaster, where her mother said her care had been "much better".

But she was moved back in late April against her wishes. At the time, Nottinghamshire Healthcare said it could not comment on individual cases.

Leisa and Sophie's father Jeremy were on holiday in Norfolk on May 27 when they were phoned at around 7.30pm to say she had collapsed on the ward. They drove the two-and-a-half hours back to King's Mill Hospital in Mansfield.

Sophie was pronounced dead at around 9.10pm. She and her parents had last exchanged text messages at lunchtime on that day and had spoken over a video call the day before.

A fully qualified brownie leader and a big musical theatre fan, Sophie had taken part in the Nottinghamshire Girlguiding Gang Show at the Theatre Royal several times. Her parents received a card of condolence from the organisation.

Her funeral will be held at St James Church in Mapperley where she was christened, went to holiday club as a child, attended rainbows, brownies and guides and volunteered when she was older. She had already requested the songs she wanted played in the case of her death, including ACDC's Highway to Hell and Heart of Stone from the musical Six.

There will also be a sweet cart and a slushie machine at the service in her honour. Attendees will be invited to dress up as characters in homage to Sophie's love of musical theatre.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare chief executive Ifti Majid said: “On behalf of the Trust, I offer our sincere condolences to Sophie’s family and friends. Any loss of life is a tragedy and our thoughts are with Sophie’s loved ones at this time. As is usual practice in these instances, we will be carrying out an internal investigation and are there not able to comment further.”