Much loved and so sadly missed
Ed attended Henley Mums and Tots, Henley Playgroup, and Henley Primary School.
For several years Ed played football for Claydon Juniors, often being awarded the man-of-the-match or some other award. We still have all his trophies and medals from this time - loads of them.
Family holidays were usually taken in the UK, often camping, with walks, cycle rides and trips to the beach. Ed loved the outdoors and all our holidays were fun and really special.
We moved from Henley to Debenham in 1999 and Ed liked his new primary school because there was more opportunity for sport. He played for the school football and rugby teams, both teams doing really well that year.
Ed moved to Debenham High School when he was 11. He made a lot of friends and continued to play football, to go fishing, and got into jump bikes and BMX.
In short, life with our two lovely sons was all we could have hoped for.
A few more months later, following a particularly severe psychotic episode, Ed was finally admitted to an adolescent psychiatric unit but was discharged 6 weeks later with an apparent diagnosis of “no mental illness”. He then spent some time at home, got a licence to ride a motorbike and tried to do some ‘A’ level studies by correspondence course.
Early one morning the following Easter, Ed impulsively set out on his motorbike and rode 200 miles to his aunt and uncle’s home in Yorkshire, a journey that took him 12 hours. He spent a few months there and worked for a while as a trainee motor mechanic. Ed got involved with the Yorkshire mental heath services and then agreed to return home to Suffolk, where he was referred to the Early Intervention Psychosis Team. After another few months, following a suggestion by the Team that he should see a psychiatrist, he again left on his motorbike for Yorkshire. This time, he only got as far as Lincolnshire.
Following his return to Suffolk, Ed was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and admitted to a local psychiatric hospital, but Ed ran away several times and was transferred to more secure psychiatric intensive care unit in Colchester.
After just 24 days in this unit, tragically Ed took his own life.
Ed was born in 1989, the second of our two sons.
Ed was a healthy, happy, bright lad, incredibly good at sport, funny and popular. He was loving and thoughtful from a young age and he had a clever sense of humour, often making us laugh.
Early life at home in Henley, Suffolk was comfortable and relaxed. We lived in a cul-de-sac with relatively little traffic, so the road would frequently be filled with children playing football, roller hockey or riding their bikes. Ed was a real daredevil; he would don his roller blades and get his brother to tow him by bicycle at high speed around the Close.
Around the age of 15, Ed’s mood and behaviour started to alter which, at first, we put down to him becoming an “angry teenager”. He seemed to really struggle with revision for his GCSE exams but, to his eternal credit, he gained a full complement of 10 good grades.
Ed started at sixth form college, but soon dropped out, without really being able to explain why. After another few months, we suspected that he was becoming mentally ill. We tried to gain help but this was unavailable unless Ed agreed to accept treatment.
The inquest into Ed’s death was held between 27th September and 4th October 2011. We feel that certain serious deficiencies emerged about some aspects of Ed’s care, and this was reflected in the narrative verdict. The verdict stated that Ed killed himself whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed. The following factors more than minimally contributed to his death: Ineffective communication, inadequate risk assessment and lack of therapeutic activities.