Zimbabwean Nurse Found Dead in UK Home Under Mysterious Circumstances
The death of Stephen Chidawa, a Zimbabwean nurse in the UK, remains a mystery after an inquest failed to determine the cause.
The nurse, known as ‘Stavo’, was found dead in his home on October 21, 2022, by his wife, Stacy Chidawa. He had just completed his night shift and gone to bed that morning.
However, he was found unresponsive by his wife, who called for help immediately. Paramedics arrived shortly and performed CPR on Stephen for more than 45 minutes, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
A post-mortem examination conducted on Stephen’s body showed that he had a “profound and fatal” level of alcohol in his system, equivalent to being five times over the drink-drive limit. In addition, traces of sedative drugs, zolpidem, and clonazepam were found in his system. He had no other significant health concerns.
Inquest into the Death
An inquest into Stephen’s death was held at Wakefield Coroner’s Court, where his wife and a work colleague testified. Both testified that Stephen showed no signs of being drunk that day, and there were no empty bottles in the house. Stacy Chidawa, Stephen’s wife, said that he enjoyed a social drink but was not drinking secretly and knew instantly when he was drunk.
The attending paramedics did not mention detecting alcohol on Stephen. Senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin said in such cases, attending paramedics submit notes concerning the detection of alcohol on a patient, but none were received.
Recording an Open Verdict
Recording an open verdict, the coroner 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.”
Stephen Chidawa’s Profile
Stephen Chidawa, also known as ‘Stavo’, was born in Zimbabwe and came to the UK in 1998 to study nursing at Leeds University. He had worked across several hospitals, including the Newsam Centre in Seacroft and Lynfield Mount Hospital in Bradford. Kelvin Alleyne, a close friend of Stephen, described him as a universally loved individual with a talent for making friends.
The death of Stephen Chidawa under such mysterious circumstances remains a puzzle. The high level of alcohol found in his system and the absence of clues as to how he consumed it has left the coroner stumped. The open verdict given by the coroner suggests that the cause of death remains unknown.