Thetford parkrun volunteer Jason Vince remembered as ‘kind-hearted’ by family
PUBLISHED: 15:01 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:23 03 November 2017
A “kind-hearted and generous” parkrun volunteer from Thetford may have taken his own life as there seemed to be “no light at the end of the tunnel” to his chronic pain.
Jason Vince, 42, died at the Royal Free Hospital in London on May 2 this year.
His family said he was “the life and soul of the party” but chronic back pain caused by an injury at Abels Moving Services, where he worked a number of years ago, meant he was a unable to sit or sleep properly, or hold down a job.
Mr Vince’s brother, David Vince, said this exacerbated his depression and “made him feel there was no light at the end of the tunnel”.
However, paying tribute his sister 38-year-old Ashley Fitzgibbon said he “took any opportunity to dress up”.
While his mother, Marie Vince, said he was involved in a number of voluntary positions, including putting on a local quiz night. She remembered him as “kind-hearted and generous”.
David, 46, added his brother had enjoyed volunteering at the Thetford parkrun, where a defibrillator has been installed in his memory.
He said: “His parkruns were his life and soul over the last few years. He’s left his mark by the defibrillator for everyone, so it’s a good safe run.”
An inquest in Norwich today, Friday, heard how father-of-four Mr Vince had often sought help for his condition, and clinicians at Basildon and Thurrock Hospital had tried to secure funding for him to have a spinal cord stimulation procedure (SCS).
This would involve placing a device under the skin which sends a mild electric current to interfere with pain messages reaching the brain.
A statement from Dr Simon Thomson, consultant in pain management at Basildon and Thurrock, said it was agreed Mr Vince was eligible for SCS.
But South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group rejected the funding application.
The cost of the implant can be as high as £24,000.
Dr Thomson added: “I do not know whether he took his own life down to desperation” but if funding was approved, the SCS would have been fitted within two months.
Instead, Mr Vince was referred to Addenbrokes in Cambridge last July, where funding came direct from NHS England.
He had his initial appointments but there were many months of delays. Tragically, letters arrived after his death offering steps towards the treatment.
Dr Mark Abrahams, from Addenbrokes, said in a statement: “As a result of staffing problems the waiting time was extended to nine months. I felt the delay to assessment was unacceptable.”
Area coroner Yvonne Blake heard how Mr Vince had struggled with depression due to his pain, and had previously attempted to take his own life.
At the end of April Mr Vince called his father, Derek, and asked him for help.
When he arrived in Thetford from north London, he found his son had taken an overdose. As he wanted to be near family, he took him to hospital in Barnet, where Mr Vince was put into intensive care.
On April 28 he was transferred to the Royal Free Hospital, where he died on May 2 after his liver had failed.
Ms Blake gave a narrative conclusion as she could not be sure Mr Vince had appreciated the consequences of his actions. She said: “He did ask for and accepted help after the overdose.”
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