Tragic death of ‘lovely son’

Jonathon Bates pictured with his dog Jasper.
Jonathon Bates pictured with his dog Jasper.

The mother and partner of a man who’s death was triggered by pain killers have warned of the dangers of taking medicine prescribed for other people.

Jonathon Bates was found dead at his home in Cloughton in October last year having suffered a heart attack in bed.

His inquest on Tuesday heard how the 35-year-old had spent the majority of his life suffering from Raynaud’s and chronic regional pain syndrome.

Evidence revealed that the severe pain Mr Bates faced on a constant basis lead him to often double on prescribed pain killers, and when left short of medication he would borrow other people’s tablets to ease the pain.

A statement from Mr Bates’ partner Michelle, which was read at the inquest, confirmed this had been the case prior to his death.

She said Mr Bates had taken some Tramadol which a friend had lent her for a bad shoulder.

The inquest also heard from Dr David Morgan, a consultant pathologist at Scarborough Hospital, who said the extra medication did not kill Mr Bates, but it is likely it played a part in triggering a fatal heart attack from a pre existing heart condition.

Dr Morgan explained how it was difficult to find the right balance for prescriptions for patients who were long term takers of pain killers known as opiates. He said: “It is difficult to get the balance of opiates. With the passing of time of taking opiates you get more resistant to the effects.

“There is a balance which is difficult to achieve for the doctors and for the patient. On this occasion the balance was just tipped over in the wrong direction. We aren’t talking about a big overdose.”

Recording a verdict that Mr Bates died of natural causes coroner John Broadbridge said: “There was no let up in the pain Mr Bates had to endure. It is clear the level of Tramadol was not an overdose but it was sufficient to tip the balance towards a wobble in his heart which sadly lead to his death.”

Speaking after the inquest Mr Bates’ family said; “We just hope this will be a warning to people not to take extra medicine prescribed for others.”