I sat down to read a few pages before cooking dinner. Hours later, I was still reading, and we were still waiting to eat.
Connor drowned alone in the bath, on a ward, during a seizure. Although he was known to have epilepsy, staff had decided he should take long, deep baths completely unattended, behind a locked door.
This was done even though another patient had died in that same bath a few years previously. Even though Connor’s learning disability and autism meant he didn’t accept that his epilepsy existed. And to make matters worse, when his family objected to his death and its cover-up, they were slandered and bullied.
Connor’s story is one that needs to be told widely, and most of all inside the systems which utterly failed him. My copy of Justice for LB is now being read by a junior doctor colleague. I’m going to ask him to pass it to his friends.
As an NHS worker, how do you tell people we failed this badly, when even an 8 year old child knows epilepsy and baths are a dangerous combination? What happened to Connor and his family is so shocking, and so traumatic, that I’ve not yet had the courage to share this amazing book with patients and carers in real life. But I will.