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Mystery over fork lift driver's death

PUBLISHED: 16:04 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:03 30 June 2010

THE mystery behind the death of a former fork lift truck driver from Great Yarmouth will never be solved, an inquest heard.

Harry Michael Ellenden died at the James Paget University Hospital in February, a month after he was found by his granddaughter collapsed at his home in Falcon Court.

THE mystery behind the death of a former fork lift truck driver from Great Yarmouth will never be solved, an inquest heard.

Harry Michael Ellenden died at the James Paget University Hospital in February, a month after he was found by his granddaughter collapsed at his home in Falcon Court.

A toxicology report was unable to establish whether 63-year-old Mr Ellenden's overuse of medication was ultimately responsible, or natural causes.

Coroner William Armstrong heard how Mr Ellenden had a tendency to self medicate painkillers prescribed for his conditions, and regularly felt he needed more than he was supplied with. The Yarmouth Magistrates Court inquest also heard that, among other things, he had suffered from depression, sleep apnoea and obesity, as well as angina and ulcers.

His widow, Susan said: “He had been on a lot of different medication for various things and he was just not a well man at all. He also had a cold from December 31, and it just got worse and worse.”

It was on the morning of January 7 that granddaughter Stephanie, 17 found her grandfather on the floor. She alerted her grandmother who was in another room.

Mrs Ellenden said: “She said grandpa was on the floor so I went in and he didn't seem to know how to get up and I didn't have the strength to help him.

At the inquest last Thursday, she added: “He kept saying my name but that was all that I could understand.”

Six paramedics helped move Mr Ellenden, who weighed 23 stone, to an ambulance, and he was taken hospital. Shortly afterwards, he suffered a cardiac arrest in the A&E and was resuscitated with CPU after eight minutes but never fully recovered consciousness. He died of pneumonia on February 5.

The coroner, who ruled out suicide, gave a narrative verdict and said: “It's not possible to make a reliable judgment as to the cause of the cardiac arrest.”

Following the inquest Mrs Ellenden said: “He is sadly missed by all his family. It was just so unexpected.”

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