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Tree surgeon died after accidental overdose

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THE FAMILY of a tree surgeon who passed away following an accidental overdose of heroin in December has stressed the importance of identifying and treating ADHD from an early age.

An inquest into the death of 33-year-old Kevin Bradley Lane heard that in spite of his intelligence he was a restless, and sometimes disruptive pupil in school and left with no formal qualifications. At around this time he was associating with young adults in a similar position and started smoking cannabis as self medication for his restlessness.

At the inquest in Llanelli Town Hall on Wednesday (Feb 28) Coroner’s Officer Malcolm Thompson explained that Mr Lane was born in Liverpool and was fostered at the age of 16 months before being adopted by his foster parents.

When he was 11 the family relocated to Barry. While Mr Lane excelled in certain sports including swimming and the javelin, as well as displaying artistic talent, he struggled with written work as a result of dyslexia and undiagnosed ADHD and left school with no qualifications.

However, he was highly intelligent, and spent a lot of time accumulating knowledge through audiobooks and documentaries.

After holding a number of jobs, his family moved to Llandysul when he was 18. Around this time Mr Lane began work as a tree surgeon. He excelled at the job, and over the next decade gained qualifications and worked for a number of firms, becoming widely and highly respected in the business. He was qualified to cut trees near power lines and railways, and enjoyed the challenge of carrying out skilful work in dangerous situations.

Recently, he had begun an access course in art at Coleg Sir Gar, and eventually hoped to gain a degree and become a teacher.

Mr Lane’s family described him as an articulate, humorous and fun-loving man, with a keen interest in music. He would always help those in need, and once rescued a friend from drowning in Barry. On another occasion he carried a friend who had broken his leg a considerable distance to get help.

From the middle of his 20s, Mr Lane lived with heroin addiction, which he did not hide from his family. However, over the last two years he sought help to get clean from agencies such as DDAS and the Wellfield Clinic.

On the morning of December 12, police found Mr Lane collapsed and unresponsive in Marks and Spencer Carmarthen, with a used syringe nearby. He was taken to Glangwili Hospital and placed on a life support machine, but sadly passed away the following day.

His death was treated as non-suspicious and unexplained.

Carmarthenshire Coroner Mark Layton read from a toxicology report, which indicated that there was morphine present in his system at a level known to cause toxicity, although addicts generally developed a higher tolerance.

His family suggested that his tolerance could well have been reduced by his efforts to give up the drug, and Mr Layton agreed.

A statement from the family stressed the importance of properly identifying and treating ADHD from an early age. “This was a very significant cause of Kevin’s restlessness, and troubled nature from an early stage in life, and we understand that ADHD is highly correlated with drug use in young people,” they added.

Mr Layton concluded that the death was drug-related, and passed on his condolences to the family.

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Baby died an hour after birth following ‘failings’ by Health Board

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A BABY died just minutes after being born following failings by Hywel Dda Health Board, a damning report by the Public Services Ombudsman has found.

Callum James was born at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen on May 5, 2016, but died less than an hour later despite attempts to resuscitate him.

His parents, Ellie and Christopher James from Haverfordwest, complained that there had been a failure to monitor Callum’s development during pregnancy and to provide a birthing plan.

Mrs James also complained that the Health Board failed to respond to unusual pains during labour and to conduct necessary tests.

The report states there were also delays in Callum receiving treatment after he was born due to the First Consultant being sent to the wrong ward, delaying emergency treatment by 12 minutes.

The Health Board said that, in its view, there were no unnecessary delays in the attempts to resuscitate Callum, as the midwives in attendance had been trained in neonatal resuscitation.

In addition, the Ombudsman found that Callum’s death was also incorrectly registered as a stillbirth rather than neonatal death.

The report says Callum was ‘pale’ and ‘floppy’ at birth and immediately transferred to a resuscitation table where a team of medics worked for over half an hour to save his life.

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint that there had been a failure to monitor Callum’s development during pregnancy and labour and to provide a birthing plan.

Hywel Dda agreed to implement all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations, including providing Callum’s parents with an apology and £4,500 for the distress caused.

The Board also agreed to change Callum’s cause of death from ‘stillborn’ to ‘neonatal death’.

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3,000 Welsh landlords still unregistered

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JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS AM has called on the Welsh Government to urgently work to improve landlord registration under Rent Smart Wales, as estimates released indicate around 3,000 remain unregistered.

Ms Finch-Saunders said: “Rent Smart Wales estimates that still 3,000 landlords are unregistered here in Wales.

“Whilst that makes up a small percentage of our total landlords, it is most concerning for those living in properties leased to them by those who have not yet registered.

“The Welsh Government has confirmed that a landlord who is not registered with Rent Smart Wales is unable to serve a valid Section 21 eviction notice – so where unregistered landlords do indicate that they want tenants to vacate a property, this is not recognised by local housing associations, which can cause stress to tenants who may not be aware of their full rights under the law.

“By focusing on ensuring that all landlords are properly registered, the Welsh Government can alleviate such concerns, and I will be urging the Cabinet Secretary to act to ensure all landlords are abiding by this legislation in full.”

The Minister for Housing and Regeneration told Ms Finch-Saunders that the latest figures released by Rent Smart Wales show that 90,812 landlords are now registered. Rent Smart Wales’ latest estimate for the number of unregistered landlords is approximately 3,000.

This is based on the dwelling stock estimates recently published by StatsWales, and an estimation of the average number of properties owned by each landlord.

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Care home honour Armed Forces Day

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PLAS Y DDERWEN in Johnstown will be celebrating Armed Forces Day on Thursday, June 28, with a big brew up supporting SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity.

SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families. Armed Forces Day is a chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.

Janet Williams, Activities Coordinator, said: “It is very important that we keep the memories of those who fought alive and that we also think about those involved in conflicts around the world today. We welcome anyone that wishes to attend and will have the chance to meet the team and look around the home.”

Plas Y Dderwen is part of Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, supporting older people living independent lives over the last 25 years.

Barchester services include residential care and nursing care as well as expert dementia care.

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