CASE STUDY JOHN THOM
John Thom was born in 1978 died 2019. Gerry was born in Dorset. He had a normal birth and by all accounts was healthy. He was protective of his younger siblings when they were young. He was described as exceptionally bright academically and won a scholarship to a St Andrew’s college which meant moving to live in Scotland. He was described as a computer geek and computer wizard by college friends.
On an evening out with friends, John had drunk too much alcohol but thought that he was fine to drive back to campus. He lost control of his car which resulted in an accident. One of his passengers became wheelchair bound as a result of the accident and John himself suffered a deep head laceration. John was 23 at the time of the accident.
John became reclusive and depressed. He blamed himself for his college friend becoming disabled. John also suffered from migraine attacks. He successfully completed his studies and returned to Dorset. His family realised that he was not the same and arranged for him to see a counsellor. This seemed to be going well and John was described as being “more like his old self”.
1/5/2001 after returning home, John, now 23, was found at a water fountain in the Town Centre, shouting for the man in his head to get out and waving a knife around. Members of the public called the police, but John resisted arrest and threatened to harm anyone who tried to touch him. The Police managed to tackle him to the ground and once in custody, they requested an AMHP. John became calmer and voluntarily agreed to be admitted for a psychiatric assessment:
John was diagnosed as having schizophrenia and prescribed medication. Following this episode and with medication John again seemed to be returning to his old self. He also gained employment at a Computer firm as a software designer.
2000 John was escorted to his home after being found by Police in a supermarket car park in just his underwear and a coat. He was bare-footed and could not explain where his clothes had gone. He was very tearful and repeated asked for someone to tell him what is wrong with him. His depression had returned. He did make a good recovery by the end of January 2006 and had begun a relationship with Ann.
Between 2006 and 2018 – John had several more episodes of hearing voices and was self-harming on a regular basis which he said was to get the bad person of his body and head. He was also hospitalised on several occasions. Karen told John that she loved him but that she could not cope and asked him to move out. John attacked Karen which resulted in her sustaining a fractured rib. John was sectioned and eventually charged with ABH.
7/12/2019 – Gerry took his own life whilst on a home visit using prescribed medication