A Tooting woman died after eating Thai prawn soup, despite seeming fine when she first had it a few days earlier, an inquest has heard.

Elizabeth Hoborough, 39, of Pevensey Road, was found gasping for breath by her husband in the early hours of Thursday, February 28.

She was taken by ambulance to St George's Hospital and given adrenaline but could not be resuscitated.

A postmortem examination found her body to contain high levels of tryptase - an indication of anyphalaxis, a severe allergic reaction.

Westminster Coroner's Court heard that sociable Ms Hoborough, who went by her maiden name, first ate the soup on Monday, February 25, before going to the theatre.

Her only apparent reaction to the dish at the time was a slight headache, for which she took some Neurofen.

Ms Hoborough then had more of the prawn soup the evening before she died.

The court heard that in 2006 she suffered an allergic reaction to crab meat, which was so severe she was prescribed an EpiPen - a device used by allergy sufferers to combat anaphylactic shock.

Despite her allegies, the Wandsworth Council administrator had a pet cat.

But, until her death, she never seemed to have a problem with prawns, a fact coroner Dr Paul Knapman called "extraordinary".

He described allergies and anyphalaxis as imprecise conditions, and said the most logical explanation was that Ms Hoborough suffered a biphasic, or secondary, reaction to the prawns.

He said: "Quite how that could have been anticipated I don't know. There must be 100s of thousands of people who are allergic to seafood. Why aren't they all dying?"

Recording a verdict of misadventure, Dr Knapman added: "This has been a terrible tragedy for all concerned. Our sympathy goes out to members of the family."

After the inquest, Ms Hoborough's relatives spoke of their shock at her death.

They described her as "bubbly, outgoing and a great friend" and paid tribute to the support the family has received from friends.

Sister Diane said: "There was no way of knowing this was going to happen. We all miss her a lot."

The family asked for any donations to be made out to Macmillan nurses.