A “vibrant, talented and caring” student died of alcohol abuse, an inquest heard.
Zara Malone, aged 22, a former Plymouth College prefect, was tragically found dead at her flat on February 7 this year.
Her parents Roger and Liz Malone, of Plymouth, said in a statement: “We are devastated by the loss of Zara. She was a vibrant, talented and caring person – and a pivotal member of our family.
“It was a privilege to have known her for 22 years. She had the gift of giving a little sunshine to everyone who met her.”
The inquest in Exeter yesterday heard Miss Malone’s flatmate Francesca Parker discovered her collapsed on her bed at around 9.20pm on February 7. She had inhaled vomit after drinking a large quantity of vodka, the hearing was told.
Coroner Elizabeth Earland recorded Miss Malone’s death was “a consequence of alcohol abuse”.
She said the student was a “habitual heavy drinker” and alcoholic liver disease had contributed to, but not directly caused, her death.
Miss Malone had previously battled depression and anxiety. She was studying English and Classical Literature at Exeter University.
Sarah Dunn, Plymouth College deputy head, described Miss Malone’s death as a “tragic loss”.
She said: “She was a lovely, effervescent girl, very sporty and extremely popular with both her peers and teachers.”
A creative writing award has been set up in her memory.