This special day and every one of the 1,642 days since your catastrophic and preventable death on 25 July 2014 are like nothing we had ever experienced before our world irrevocably changed on that fateful day. Our world and everything in it erupted and shattered, never to be restored and time forever became measured by the length of your life and the time since your death.
There are no words to describe how much we love and miss you. I, personally, think you probably underestimated the extent, power and enduring nature of that love. There was then and is now nothing that we would not have done for you personally, or will not do now in your memory in order to obtain the truth, accountability and justice.
The revelations about how you were treated in the final three days of your life have shocked and devastated all who loved you dearly together with many whom you never even met. We have worked tirelessly over the past four and a half years to ensure that the organisations and individuals directly responsible for your death acknowledge their part in it, are held to account and face justice.
The contemptuous and inhumane treatment you experienced in life has been replicated since your death in the treatment of your family. Trusts appear to view the deceased and their families, following a preventable death caused by clinical negligence and neglect, as at best of no consequence and at worst an irritation or threat which needs to be dispensed with by any possible means. Their primary focus of attention and effort is honed on covering up their errors by relying on the systemic default mode of deny, delay, defend, deceive.
Although investigations take place, action plans are developed and apparently, we are told, lessons learnt, in reality little of substance changes at all. The formulaic belated apology routinely issued under duress by Trusts is a hollow and meaningless insult to bereaved families. The replication of subsequent similar preventable deaths of those in receipt of mental health services merely serves to reinforce the knowledge of Trusts’ incompetence and inertia and rub salt in the wounds of bereaved families.
The ongoing investigations since your death, Sal, and the fact that it is paramount not to fetter those investigations, have meant that we have been obliged to stay silent about many of the facts surrounding your death, which, if change is ever to occur, need to be in the public domain. However, we have now decided that your 27th birthday is an appropriate time to launch a website in your memory. We do this in order that those who find themselves in similar circumstances may have the opportunity to benefit in some way from our journey as our belief, Sally, is that what you suffered, together with our ongoing nightmare, is not an isolated incident but endemic throughout the NHS and private healthcare in terms of the attitudes to and treatment of people in acute distress.
Additionally and importantly, we hope that those who work in the mental health arena may reflect on the content of this website and consider whether our experiences are reflected in their own service delivery to patients and their families.
So my darling Sally, what more can I say? There are no words to adequately express what you mean to me or the pain of losing you and there is nothing I would not give to make your birthday cake, write your card, wrap your presents and spend this special day with you. Know that you are forever in our hearts and minds.
Love Mum x x x