The family of Henry Tucker, 14, had been finding it difficult to access support as the NHS was overburdened during the coronavirus pandemic before his tragic suicide
A 14-year-old boy with both anorexia and autism locked himself in his room and scheduled an email to his mum telling her he’d taken his own life, an inquest heard.
The family of Henry Tucker had been finding it difficult to access support for him because the NHS was overburdened during the coronavirus pandemic.
The inquest was held two days short of the first anniversary of Henry’s death, reports Grimsby Live.
The hearing was told that the teenager had twice been fed by a nasogastric tube – once after being detained under the Mental Health Act – but hated the hospital environment and healthcare professionals had found it difficult to communicate with him.
When he died, Henry had scheduled a suicide note to be sent to his mother at 9pm.
By the time she found it and broke into his locked bedroom at Wentworth Way, Woodhall Spa, her efforts to revive him with CPR were futile.
A diary entry by Henry read: “I can’t find the courage to live any longer. It’s too stressful for me to be constantly monitored.
“Please don’t feel sad. I love you Mum.”
Henry’s mother, Kate Tucker, told an inquest: “Until this started to happen he was happy, he had a lovely life.
“Only people who went through the whole hospital experience during Covid know how traumatic it was and still is.”
NHS England accepted some of the criticisms levelled at it by Henry’s parents.
The Tuckers said not taken enough notice was taken of the family’s past medical history and they had felt “overwhelmed” by the number of organisations involved.
Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said it had looked at learnings from Henry’s case and, amongst other actions, money had been secured to establish the role of a single point of contact for a family who would be the lead professional across all agencies.
In a poignant statement, clinical psychologist Liz Elliott said she knew how hard Henry’s parents had worked to support their son.
She added: “I will always live with the sadness that we could not manage to work out a way to help Henry to decide that he wanted to continue to live.”
Henry’s father, Graham, told the inquest that he would like to see more support delivered in the home rather than clinical settings.
Their son was a very creative and inquisitive boy who loved magic, space exploration and anime gaming apps, said Mrs Tucker.
“He could spend hours perfecting an animation or drawing,” she said, adding that he was hardworking at school and always achieved his targets.
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Tucker said: “I was proud to have him as a son, we will miss him and we will love him forever.
“He was clever, brave, sensitive, loving and caring but vulnerable at the same time.”
In concluding that Henry’s death was suicide, assistant coroner Paul Cooper said he was satisfied with Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s actions to better support families in the future.
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