THE step-father of Philip McPhee has praised the efforts of the emergency services in their efforts to save the 25-year-old, who had injected himself with heroin.
Speaking after an inquest into Mr McPhee’s death in Hastings, Robin Bothwell said, “Philip’s mother wanted me to thank the police, the medics and the hospital for everything they did.
“They did everything they could, and we can’t speak highly enough of the Conquest - the staff there were so professional and so kind.”
Yesterday, East Sussex coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict that Mr McPhee, of Cambridge Road, had succumbed to non-dependent abuse of drugs after he was found collapsed at a friend’s house in Kingston Road, Hampden Park, ”
The inquest heard how Mr McPhee, a kitchen porter, had a medical history which included periodical drug misuse.
In the fortnight leading up to his death he had been spending time with Liane Carson at Kingston Road, a drug addict with periods of being “clean” from abuse.
Ms Carson described how Mr McPhee had been with two other friends gathered at her house, drinking strong beer, when she mislaid some valium tablets and a drunken search began for them.
Initially, Mr McPhee had joined in, but then went to make a bacon sandwich before disappearing upstair to the bedroom they shared together.
When Ms Carson noticed he was missing and got no reply to a call, she went upstairs and found him slumped on a camp bed.
She said, “He had a needle in the crook of his right arm.
“He made a noise but wasn’t responsive, and I screamed to John downstairs to come and help. I pulled the needle out and put it on the floor.
“The syringe was empty and I couldn’t see a tourniquet.”
The inquest heard how she and friend John Melbourne had tried resuscitating Mr McPhee after she had telephoned for an ambulance.
Paramedic Nigel Langley found Mr McPhee in cardiac arrest and with an ambulance crew and a Simcas doctor had used heroin antidotes, adrenalin and a defibrillator to try to bring him back from a “flat-line” situation.
Their efforts resulted in a pulse and breathing being restored, and Mr McPhee was rushed by ambulance to the Conquest Hospital, St Leonards, where a specialist team had been alerted to receive him. Sadly, he did not survive and died at the hospital.
Medical and forensic post mortems and toxicology tests showed he had some 265 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of blood - more than three times the 80mg limit for drivers - and also had morphine levels consistent with having taken heroin.
Methadone was also found.
Brain damage had followed coronary arrest, which had been due to multiple drug toxicology, and he had effectively died from the toxic effects of drugs and alcohol.