FRIENDS of an ambulance worker who took her own life said she would go the extra mile to look out for others at the expense of he own wellbeing.

An inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court yesterday heard Sara McDonald died after she hanged herself in Shotover Park in Headington on July 12.

Those close to the 45-year-old mum of two said she had left a huge gap in their lives.

Police officer Tania Wasilewski-Norman, who worked with Ms McDonald before she moved to South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), said: “Sara had a really big heart, she would do anything for anybody, sometimes to the detriment of herself.

“She was so caring and she loved her family so much.

“She was sad on the inside but you would never have known.

“She did not want people to look after her because that was something she wanted to do for others.”

At the inquest into her death today the court heard she had been in contact with mental health services since 1989 for issues including depression, and been treated with a range of anti-depressants.

On the evening of July 11 she sent texts to SCAS colleagues suggesting she was going to take her own life, sparking a search which ended when her body was found the following day.

Friend Claire Hughes, who was a member of Didcot-based charity fundraising group the Thong Rangers along with Ms McDonald, said: “She is really, really missed. 

“She was looked up to by other people.

“It seems like a bit of a cliche to say it but you do not realise how much people mean to you until they are gone.

“She has left a legacy behind of being so loved and that is something for her kids to have.”

Giving evidence at the inquest mental health nurse Lynda Rose said she had last seen Ms McDonald a week before her death.

Ms Rose told the court Ms McDonald was worried she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to having flashbacks and nightmares.

Ms McDonald told her she had suicidal thoughts but had no intention of acting on them.

Ms Rose said: “We considered her to be a low risk of suicide or self-harm.”

The court heard the Oxford Street, Woodstock resident may have been affected by dealing with the recent deaths of two elderly people who died with no close family.

Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said: “Both of these deaths affected her negatively, her relationship with her own mother was not close.”

He extended his sympathies to Ms McDonald’s family and recorded a verdict of suicide, saying it was clear from the messages sent to colleagues that she intended to take her own life.