Paralysed teenager ‘died in police custody after removing his tracheostomy tube while in his cell’

The Daily Mail

 

There has to be more to this story than we are being told.

As far as I am aware the only paralysed people who rely on a tracheostomy tube are those paralysed from the neck down.

Course, I maybe wrong on that, but even if I am, why has he not got one in, in the photos below?

Never the less, what the fuck are the police doing locking up someone reliant on a tracheostomy tube?

And what the fuck are they doing spending 90 minutes trying to get it back in before getting him into hospital? 

Moreover, it is the second time in a month that we see a years old case only just being investigated. 

I don’t expect it to be the Police’s fault though… It never fucking is, is it?  

Paralysed teenager ‘died in police custody after removing his tracheostomy tube while in his cell’

  • Darren O’Connor removed the tube while in a police cell in South Shields
  • Police and paramedics fought to replace the tube for 90 minutes
  • But Mr O’Connor suffered a heart attack before A&E staff replaced it
  • The 19-year-old had been injured in a cycling accident in 2007

By STEVE NOLAN

PUBLISHED: 19:43, 28 May 2013 | UPDATED: 19:44, 28 May 2013

 

A paralysed teenager died in police custody after removing his tracheostomy tube while in his cell, an inquest has heard.

Darren O’Connor, also known as Lyons, was seen on CCTV completely removing the tube from his throat at South Shields Police Station after he had been arrested for breach of bail in July 2010.

Police and paramedics battled to replace the tube for 90 minutes before it was finally put back in by A&E staff at South Tyneside Hospital.

Tragic: Darren O'Connor died in police custody after removing a tracheostomy tube which enabled him to breathe properly while in a cell. Mr O'Connor is pictured in hospital aged 18 after his cycling accidentTragic: Darren O’Connor died in police custody after removing a tracheostomy tube which enabled him to breathe properly while in a cell. Mr O’Connor is pictured in hospital aged 18 after his cycling accident

 

Michelle and Darren O'Connor
Michelle O'Connor

Grieving: Michelle O’Connor, pictured with son Darren (left) and arriving at the inquest today (right), told the court that the teenager was aware of the potential consequences of removing the tube

But the 19-year-old had already suffered a heart attack en route to hospital, and the lengthy period with restricted oxygen proved fatal.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court heard that Mr O’Connor, who had sustained brain injuries and was partially paralysed after cycling into oncoming traffic in October 2007, was arrested for breaching his bail conditions.

He had been caught in South Shields town centre later the the hours his electronic tag allowed.

 

 

But the court heard that he completely removed the tube which enabled him to breath properly while in his cell at the police station.

Home Office pathologist Mark Egan said that Darren died as a result of a cardiac arrest due to hypoxia – a lack of oxygen.

The court heard that the teenager had spent a month in a coma, and 14 months in hospital after his cycling accident.

Evidence: Michelle O'Connor, pictured outside South Tyneside Law Courts today, said that her son would 'never' deliberately harm himselfEvidence: Michelle O’Connor, pictured outside South Tyneside Law Courts today, said that her son would ‘never’ deliberately harm himself

Mr O’Connor was eventually fitted with a permanent indwelling tracheostomy tube, and experienced severe difficulty with scar tissue around the hole in his throat.

His mother Michelle O’Connor, 40, wept as she told the court how her son had struggled to come to terms with the tracheostomy, which had left him unable to speak.

She said: ‘He wanted his voice.

‘That’s the one thing he wanted.

‘He used to say to me, “Mam, I’m not bothered about my leg or anything like that.”

‘It was just his voice. He just wanted his voice.’

Mrs O’Connor also told the court that Darren knew the dangers of removing the tracheostomy.

She said: ‘Darren knew the consequences of taking the tracheostomy out – that he would die – that he could not put the tracheostomy back in.

‘Only I was trained to do it.

‘That’s what I couldn’t understand. He never did it at home for the year and a half, so why do it that night?’

When asked if she thought Darren would deliberately harm himself, Mrs O’Conner responded, ‘No never’, and added that Darren had been in good spirits in the run up to his death.

The inquest heard that Darren had removed his tracheostomy once before, in a taxi that was taking him back to hospital before he was fully discharged after his accident.

At the time Darren was distressed to be returning to hospital.

It also became dislodged accidentally on one occasion in his sleep whilst he was in hospital.

In a statement read out to court, Dr David Meikle, the consultant in charge of Mr O’Connor’s care, said that the teenager was aware that removing the tube would not immediately render him unable to breathe, but could prove fatal if left dislodged.

Paralysed: Mr O'Connor, pictured in hospital with mother Michelle, was seriously injured in a cycling accident in 2007Paralysed: Mr O’Connor, pictured in hospital with mother Michelle, was seriously injured in a cycling accident in 2007

Arrest: Mr O'Connor was in a cell at South Shields Police Station, pictured, when he removed his tracheostomy tubeArrest: Mr O’Connor was in a cell at South Shields Police Station, pictured, when he removed his tracheostomy tube

The statement read: ‘It is certainly my understanding that Darren was aware that removal of his tracheostomy tube would lead to a fatal closure of his airway.

‘Darren would be aware that removal of the tube would not immediately render him unable to breathe.

Struggle: Mr O'Connor is pictured before his accident aged 10. His mother told the court that he struggled to cope with the loss of his voice caused by the tracheostomy tubeStruggle: Mr O’Connor is pictured before his accident aged 10. His mother told the court that he struggled to cope with the loss of his voice caused by the tracheostomy tube

Pathologist Mark Egan described Darren’s windpipe as being dangerously narrow – gradually closing as time passed.

He said: ‘The normal windpipe should have the diameter of a little more than a penny.

‘At the surface, Darren’s was the size of a five pence coin, so it was considerably narrower.

‘At its narrowest end his windpipe was a little bigger than a Bic biro.’

HM Coroner Terence Carney said: ‘He (Darren) took it out and couldn’t or wouldn’t put it back in.

‘An ambulance was called.

‘He was transported to South Tyneside Hospital. En route he had a cardiac arrest.

‘They had difficulty putting it back in.

‘When he got to the hospital and when they put it back in and were about to start CPR he was not recovered. He was sadly dead.’

The court was told that problems with scar tissue in and around the windpipe were a contributing factor to the death.

The inquest continues.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2332290/Paralysed-teenager-died-police-custody-removing-tracheostomy-tube-cell.html#ixzz2UcNcUnWB
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook