Family of depressed Newcastle man pay tribute at inquest

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The family of a 24-year-old who committed suicide, have today made a heartfelt plea for young men suffering depression to seek help.

Aaron McNair, of Hyacinth Court, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, attempted suicide earlier this year following a battle with mental health and a drug addiction.

He died days later in hospital suffering from irreversible brain damage, an inquest was told.

After today’s hearing, Aaron’s parents urged men suffering mental illness to reach out before it’s too late.

His mother Zoe Ball told StaffsLive: “He was an average 24-year-old who was loved very much.

“He did struggle sometimes, he just couldn’t cope with everyday life.

“Aaron needed to be kept busy. When he had time on his hands that’s when he had problems.

“There is always someone to talk to.

“You are never alone, just ask for help. We encourage people to talk.”

On October 12 this year, Aaron phoned his mother from a payphone after having spent the morning with her, in a clearly emotional state.

In a statement read out to the court, Ms Ball said: “Aaron just wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

Aaron McNair

                          Aaron McNair

“He seemed fine this morning, he was playing with his niece.

“When he phoned, I was concerned. I wanted him at home with me.”

Aaron’s father James McNair picked him up and took him to his mother’s where he calmed down and wrote notes.

“I thought he was just expressing his feelings”, said Ms Ball.

Aaron asked for a cigarette and a glass of wine, before heading out to the garage of his mother’s house, the inquest heard.

He had been there for five minutes before Ms Ball checked on him and found him slumped against a wall.

An ambulance was called and CPR performed on Aaron by his mother, father and neighbour before the paramedics arrived and were able to find a pulse.

He was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital, where it was decided by the family to take Aaron off life support. He died shortly after on the morning of October 15.

H M Assistant Coroner for North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, Sarah Murphy recorded that Mr McNair’s death was asphyxiation secondary to hanging, suicide whilst suffering anxiety and depression.

Aaron suffered from anxiety and depression but had been taking anti-depressants and was seeking help from community mental health teams in Newcastle, as well as help for his drug addiction which started at the age of 15.

Speaking to Ms Ball and the family in court, Assistant Coroner Murphy said: “It must have been, and still is, a difficult time for the family but there was absolutely no way you could have known what Aaron was going to do.

“It was because of you and your family’s efforts that you gave him a chance of surviving, you gave him the best chance possible.

“You can walk away from this inquest knowing there was nothing more you as a family could’ve done for Aaron”.

Aaron’s father James, 45, also urged people to speak out in aid of their mental health.

“People need to speak out instead of bottling it all up.

“Aaron will be missed, he is missed very much everyday.”

Ashleigh McNair, Aaron’s sister, 21, said: “He was a fantastic brother and uncle and I just miss him to pieces.

“He was the most amazing person I have ever known.

“Aaron was just the typical over-protective brother who would do anything for his niece and nephew.

“I just don’t understand. There was so much love on both sides.”

Aaron has helped other people after his death as he was an organ donor.

“We are so proud of him. He has donated his kidney to a lady in her 50s who had been on dialysis for over a year,” said Ms Ball.

“We get to see Aaron live on in someone else and I couldn’t be more proud.”

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