Young father’s overdose was ‘a cry for help’

Veronica and Gary Tallett, whose son Gary died of a prescription drug overdose, with their daughter Chantal
Veronica and Gary Tallett, whose son Gary died of a prescription drug overdose, with their daughter Chantal
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“I love you baby. What have I done?”

These were the last written words of a young dad who died after taking an overdose of beta blocker pills in a desperate cry for help.

This is a young man who has been having incredible difficulties.

Gary Tallett, 21, died on January 29 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital from a brain injury after taking a large number of pills at his parents’ St Davies Road home in St Annes three days earlier.

At his inquest, coroner Alan Wilson revealed that the dad-of-one, of Hesketh Avenue, Preston, had a history of mental illness, and had survived a previous overdose in 2016.

In a statement read by Mr Wilson, Gary’s mother Veronica said she was picking her husband up from work on January 26 when she received an online message from her son saying he intended to take the pills, which belonged to his father.

He said: “(She) rushed home and Gary was walking around. (She) saw empty packets of the tablets and after confronting him he admitted that he had taken them.”

Paramedics were called at 3.19pm and arrived at the scene 18 minutes later, where they were told by Veronica that Gary had suffered a seizure while resting on the sofa.

Gary’s family later complained that ambulance staff seemed to think Gary was feigning unconsciousness, and that the added stress may have contributed to him going into cardiac arrest on his way to hospital – however, Mr Wilson ruled that staff had done everything they could to save him.

Paramedic Kieren Hill, who attended the scene, said: “The patient lashed out at me when I tried to secure his leg. We had to become assertive.”

She added: “That could have led to us being seen as insensitive and even cold.”

Two days before his overdose, Gary was arrested for breaching the peace after it was reported he was shouting outside his girlfriend’s house.

In a text message to her sent on January 26, he wrote: “I’m going to do it now. Got all tablets in my hand. I love you forever and ever. I’m sorry.”

He added that he intended to find more pills, but later texted: “I feel light-headed. I love you baby. What have I done?”

At the inquest on Thursday, Mr Wilson concluded Gary had died due to misadventure.

He said: “The evidence does not leave me satisfied that it was Gary’s clear intention to end his life.

“He has been dealing with what seems to be the breakdown of his relationship. He has been the subject of an arrest for a breach of the peace.

“This is a young man who has been having incredible difficulties.”

After the inquest, Mrs Tallet said: “After reading his text messages I think it was a cry for help. I still believe that if the ambulance had arrived sooner with the relevant equipment my son would still be here today.”

She added that she is considering pursuing legal action against the service.

Readers who may been affected by the details of this inquest can call the Samaritans helpline on 116 123.