A ‘fun-loving and bubbly’ man who was described as being the ‘life and soul of any party’ took his own life after struggling with the loss of a friend and the isolation during lockdown, an inquest has heard.
Adam Wigglesworth, 33, from Bolton, took his own life on Friday 3rd April 2020 just hours after video calling his family and friends.
An inquest into Adam’s death was held at Bolton Coroner’s Court on Tuesday (March 15) where those who knew Adam said he was a loyal and fun man who had many friends.
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Coroner Rachel Syed heard how Adam, who worked as a kitchen assistant at a bar in Wigan, had been deeply affected by the death of a close friend in 2016 which had caused his mental health to suffer.
The inquest heard how Adam had been misusing alcohol and cocaine ‘as a crutch’ to help him after struggling to cope with the death.
A review into Adam’s medical records found he had been accessing counselling and support services ‘on and off’ from 2016 up until February 2020. He was described as having ‘reoccurring suicidal thoughts’ and had made a previous attempt to end his life.
On one occasion in October 2019, Adam’s parents had taken him to his GP because they expressed concerns that ‘there was a risk he would end his own life’. He was later referred for further support and prescribed antidepressants.
“He was bubbly, funny, very lively, very energetic and intelligent,” Adam’s mother Karen Wood told the inquest.
“He was a binge drinker and I don’t think he knew when to stop at times.
“He seemed to struggle with his mental health for a while but it was the death of a close friend that really triggered the beginning of the end for him.
“He was very up and down, he was either hyper or very depressed. His mental state was very unstable quite a lot of the time.”
Mrs Wood added that Adam had a love for music and was ‘very artistic and creative’. Originally born in Sutton, Ashfield, he enjoyed reading, socialising and liked designing websites.
She said she last spoke to Adam at around 6pm on the night before his death via a video call. She described him as being ‘upbeat and jovial’ during the conversation and said there was nothing that expressed concern to her.
Later that evening, at around 9pm, Adam had a video call with friend Demi Norris, who told the inquest that they had both been drinking while talking.
She said in the days leading up to the call, Adam had been struggling with the start of lockdown restrictions.
“It was the start of covid and lockdown restrictions starting,” Ms Norris said. “I think it had a big effect on him because he couldn’t go and see his friends all the time.
“He was very social and, then all of a sudden, he wasn’t allowed to go to the pub or to events and I think that did get to him.”
It was something his family and friends alluded to following his death, with aunt Tina Wigglesworth previously saying she believed that not being able to see his friends, due to the coronavirus lockdown, was a big factor in his death.
Speaking about the video call with Adam, Ms Norris told the inquest: “He was very upbeat. He told me that he’d had a few drinks - we were laughing and joking around with each other.”
A couple of hours after the video call, Ms Norris received two text messages from Adam at around midnight. The first one said: “Hey, need your help”. A second one said he was going to end his life.
Ms Norris added: “I didn’t have my phone on me and by the time I’d seen it and replied, the message didn’t send.”
During the evening, Adam had been staying at his friend’s house. In a statement, Jamie Hesketh said they had both been drinking during the night and Adam had appeared to be a little drunk.
The inquest heard how Adam and Miss Hesketh had a ‘few cross words’ with each other that evening, but both made up quickly and Adam seemed ‘fine’ afterwards.
At around midnight, Miss Hesketh said Adam came into her room and told her he loved her and his son. He then went into his son’s room to tell him that he loved him. A short while later, Adam texted him to say he was going to the bathroom.
When Miss Hesketh didn’t hear from Adam after a while, she went to the bathroom to check on him.
“About 20 minutes later, I knocked on the bathroom door and got no response,” she said in a statement read out in court. “I then opened the bathroom door and, to my horror, I found Adam.”
Miss Hesketh performed CPR on Adam until paramedics arrived and rushed him to Royal Albert Edward Infirmary hospital in Wigan, but he was sadly pronounced dead at 2am.
Coroner Syed said: “All efforts were made from Jamie, the paramedics and the hospital to save Adam’s life but sadly his condition wasn’t reversible.”
Pathology and toxicology reports found Adam had been moderately intoxicated at the time of his death, while traces of cocaine - linked to recreational use - were also found.
Coroner Syed said she was unable to declare whether the alcohol and drug use had ‘essentially made him incapable of making the decision to end his life’, but ruled his death as suicide.
Samaritans (116 123) samaritans.org operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org , write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING, FK8 2SA and visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.
For support for people feeling suicidal, if you are concerned about someone or if you are bereaved by suicide see http://shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk
CALM (0800 58 58 58) thecalmzone.net has a helpline is for men who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. They're open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.
Greater Manchester Bereavement ServiceGreater Manchester Bereavement Service can help to find support for anyone in Greater Manchester that has been bereaved or affected by a death. No one needs to feel alone as they deal with their grief. www.greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk
Childline (0800 1111 ) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
Beat Eating Disorders: Beat provides helplines for adults and young people offering support and information about eating disorders. These helplines are free to call from all phones. Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677, Studentline: 0808 801 0811, Youthline: 0808 801 0711. www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk
Anorexia & Bulimia Care: ABC provide on-going care, emotional support and practical guidance for anyone affected by eating disorders, those struggling personally and parents, families and friends. Helpline: 03000 11 12 13. www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/
Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying studentsagainstdepression.org
For information and links to charities and organisations that can help with substance abuse, visit https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/drugs/
In concluding, the coroner said: “Adam was a lovely, loyal and bubbly character who was described as being the life and soul of any party.
“Following the death of a close friend, his mental health deteriorated significantly and he struggled to cope with life. He was misusing alcohol and cocaine and it was used as a crutch.
“Adam was a deeply troubled young man who struggled terribly with his mental health from 2016 onwards - specifically following the death of a close friend.”
Addressing his family, coroner Syed added: “I truly hope that you can now begin to remember Adam as a lovely, gentle, loyal individual who obviously touched your lives.”
Speaking after his death, Adam's aunt Tina Wigglesworth paid tribute by saying: "Even though he struggled with his own mental health, so many people came forward to say that he had helped them when they were in a dark place. It breaks your heart that he's helped so many people but couldn't help himself."
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