Tara Palmer-Tomkinson found dead at 45 in her London flat

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has been tragically found dead at the age of 45 in her London flat. Police officers were called by paramedics at approximately 1.40 p.m. (G.M.T.) Wednesday, the 8th of February. Her death is described at this point as “unexplained.”

Loved, close family ties and  boyfriends

Tara was born into a close knit, loving old money family. Her family loved to ski and adore their dogs. Tara once said that she envisaged herself as being married and living in the countryside with two children by now. Tara, or T.P.T as she was known to close friends had battled anxiety recently. She was a poster child for hedonism in the 1990’s and one of the “It girls” going from party to party and living a life of upper-crust privilege. Duncan James and Sid Owen were amongst her boyfriends.  Duncan James was a close friend of hers and took to twitter to express his dismay and shock over her death.

Illness and addiction

She battled cocaine addiction which ruptured her septum. Her anxiety lead her to retreat at home recently. But her most recent and pressing health compliant was a benign pituitary growth tumor. She raised awareness for brain tumors and the U.K. brain tumor association was deeply grateful for this. I have added some information about the pituitary gland from the American Cancer Society at the end of this article. However, the brain tumor had dissolved and was better and hoping it would not return at the time of her death.

Royal Connections

Tara was the goddaughter to Prince Charles. She once joked that she kissed Prince Charles almost every day of her life. She attended the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

Her father Charles was a former British Olympic skier who instructed Prince Charles and in 1988 her mother Patti was skiing in the Swiss Alps with the Prince when their party was hit by an avalanche which killed the Queen’s former equerry, Major Hugh Lindsay, and left Mrs. Palmer-Tomkinson with serious leg injuries.

Who she was

Tara had  creative talent and musical talent. She developed an album. She appeared on ‘A Place in the Sun’ and ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!.’ She played the piano extremely well to Grade level seven. Perhaps there was a sense of thinking too deeply, a Hamlet-style rumination which plagues people who doubt themselves more than they should, and often hits creatives more frequently than piano keys striking up and down in a piano concerto. Batter the soul, free thinking demons. Perhaps her demons drove her addiction to cocaine and she used cocaine to quell her omnipresent depression and anxiety. Perhaps her depression and anxiety were caused in part by her pituitary gland not always functioning properly due to the brain tumor.

She was loved

Amongst comments and commiserations there is an overwhelming sense of how she was loved. She was likeable, charming and had a great character. Life is a type of Ferris wheel. The beginning is the start of the ride, not so high up. But then ! The wheel starts to move and you reach the first level. You stop and gaze over at the fairground, the families, the couples, the cotton candy and the bustle. You reach the second level, and the excitement begins to mount. Life can become more exciting as you reach another milestone of age. But if you are beset by health problems, you are thrust back, dramatically. You may not reach full life expectancy. You probably won’t. It is one of life’s bleakest realities. Whatever the cause of her death she battled her health struggles with grace and dignity.  Rest in peace.

 

 

 

P.S.

The pituitary gland

The pituitary is a small gland found inside the skull just below the brain and above the nasal passages, which are above the fleshy back part of the roof of the mouth (known as the soft palate). The pituitary sits in a tiny bony space called the sella turcica. The nerves that connect the eyes to the brain, called the optic nerves, pass close by it.

illustration showing the location of the pituitary and includes a detail of the posterior and anterior pituitary in relation to the hypothalamus, sella turcica and sphenoid sinus

The pituitary gland is connected directly to part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This provides a key link between the brain and the endocrine system, a collection of glands in the body that make hormones. Hormones are substances released into the blood that control how other organs work. The hypothalamus releases hormones into tiny blood vessels directly connected to the pituitary gland. These cause the pituitary gland to make its own hormones. The pituitary is considered the “master control gland” because the hormones it makes control the levels of hormones made by most other endocrine glands in the body.

The pituitary gland has 2 parts, the anterior pituitary and the posterior pituitary, each of which has distinct functions.

 

 

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