Well-respected Hailsham family man takes fatal overdose

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A Hailsham husband and father has died after taking a mix of prescription drugs which killed him in his sleep, an Eastbourne inquest heard yesterday (Thursday).

Martin Wilson, 61, of Mellion Close in Hailsham, died on June 28 and had a long history of wide-ranging medical conditions including a brain tumour diagnosis which forced him to take numerous types of strong medication to treat chronic pain.

Daughter Holly Wilson said in a statement read out at the inquest, “He was a well loved family member and was respected by members of the community.

“I do not believe in my heart he would take his own life.”

Mr Wilson’s wife, Vivienne Wilson, said she checked on her sleeping husband in their bedroom before she left the house to take the dog for a walk but when she returned he was no longer breathing.

She said in a statement, “I believe Martin died from an accidental overdose. I think he just wanted a good night sleep.

“His way of dealing with his conditions was to take more medication and put on a brave face.

The inquest heard how Mr Wilson pro-actively tried to reduce his medication in 2018 but struggled to cope and returned to his normal drug use in 2019, which could have meant his body reacted badly to the increase.

Mr Wilsons’s GP, Dr Sabina Spencer, told the inquest Mr Wilson contacted Dignatas, the Swiss assisted dying organisation, after his mental and physical condition deteriorated.

Pathologist Dr Zainab Ali said Mr Wilson had exceeded the therapeutic level of his painkillers, specifically morphine, tramadol and codeine, which caused his respiratory system to become depressed.

Coroner Chris Wilkinson said, “He was dealing with an awful lot mentally and physically for years. He did not intend to take his life.

“He has gone to sleep and not woken up. He would have simply drifted off.”

Holly Wilson said, “My father was a man who would leave a lasting impression on many people.”

The coroner concluded Mr Wilson died from an accidental overdose.

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