My son Jay, who is the nephew of the footballer Paul Gascoigne, suffered from mental health problems from the age of 12.
Jay was 22 years old when he was found dead in February 2016 from an overdose of prescription medication he’d used to try to temporarily escape his demons. Paul helped carry Jay's coffin at his funeral.
Two years on from my son’s death in April 2016, I don’t yet have a death certificate. I will get one following a coroner’s inquest which starts on September 25th and we, the family, need answers from the services that let Jay down.
Knowing that my wonderful son Jay’s death could have been prevented is a constant agony that will be with me forever. We have been refused legal aid for the inquest into Jay's death so we are raising funds to cover our legal costs and get answers as to how this was allowed to happen. Please contribute now and share this page on social media so we can help other young men like Jay avoid this kind of tragic end.
I feel I’m not only fighting for Jay, but I’m also fighting for the other sons and daughters who have been let down by the system and have fallen between the cracks.
Mental health touches 1 in 4 families and proper resource needs to be given to assist those affected. It is of the utmost importance that this should not be allowed to happen to the loved ones of other families.
The void his death has left in my life is a physical agony that is indescribable.
Among the mental health problems he suffered from included intrusive thoughts, anorexia and overwhelming OCD that tainted every waking hour of his life. We also believe he had undiagnosed bipolar disorder. But Jay was also a wonderful son and a brother – he had a love of music and playing his guitar and followed the football teams that his uncle Paul played for. He was the sweetest and most kind soul you could ever meet. Everyone who met him loved him. And he was a son I’m so proud of.
I feel Jay, like many others, was let down by the system in this country.
He’d been in and out of mental health services from the age of 12 and in the last years of his life, he’d taken morphine and prescription medication, to escape the mental health problems that were overwhelming him. His obsessive-compulsive disorder was so extreme he’d sometimes lie on the sofa and put his head on my lap and cry out for help and beg for it to stop.
Until the age of 16, the help was there, but as soon as he became an adult, there wasn’t anything like the same support available. We as a family noticed that as soon as he became an adult, the sort of support we'd had previously fell away.
This isn't just about Jay
I’m just a mum like millons of others out there. I work for a charity and I need help for this legal fight and to ensure my son’s voice is heard. If the truth comes out then my hope is that things can change.
It has broken my heart that my son didn’t have to die. I truly believe he was let down by the system in this country. I want the truth to come out about what happened, as although we can’t save Jay, maybe we can save someone else’s son or daughter if things change as a result of learning lessons from this case.
Cases like Jay’s are still happening now and how many more have to die before something is done? Please donate whatever you can.
How much do we need to raise
The services involved with Jay during his last years will all have legal representation and I all I want is to be on an equal footing.
No family should ever have to go through what we're going through, therefore we are asking for your help. We are looking to raise an initial figure of £15,000 but the fees for full representation could be in excess of £45,000 depending on the scope of the Inquest.
Anna is represented by Neil Cronin of Southerns Solicitors who has extensive experience in the field of Mental Health and Inquest matters together with Counsel from St Johns Buildings. She also has the support of the organisation, INQUEST.
What else can you do?
Please post about this campaign to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram and tell your followers that you have already given. Email your contacts about the cause.
Thank you for your support and for helping us make this campaign a success.
We can't do it without you!
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