Diabetic Stoke-on-Trent HGV driver forced to quit job died from insulin overdose

A diabetic grandad who had to give up his job as a lorry driver due to his medical condition died as a result of an insulin overdose. Keith Cox died on January 11 at the Royal Stoke University Hospital after he had injected himself with a large dose of insulin on New Year’s Eve. The 63-year-old, from Fegg Hayes, had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 10 years ago and was told to start using an insulin pen last year.

But an inquest heard he initially refused because he did not want to lose his job. Wife Rosemary Cox called 999 on New Year’s Eve after finding Keith ‘deeply unconscious’ at their home.

Keith Cox

In a statement, she said: “He had been advised to go on insulin, but refused through fear of losing his job as a HGV driver. “He was asked numerous times by doctors to go on insulin.

In July he had a diabetic check-up on his own at the doctors, the doctor explained how serious it was, and he gave in and went on insulin. “His behaviour became erratic. He refused to drive his van because he felt unsafe and that was a big part of his life.

“He was always cold, even with thick blankets, duvets and the heating on in bed he would still be cold. He kept saying he was scared of going to sleep. “He would say everything he ate had sugar on it.

I made him a salad and he said it had sugar on it, but it was beetroot and carrot.” The statement continued: “He developed from a loving family man into a paranoid shadow of a man. But I don’t think for a minute he wanted to kill himself.”

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Keith had previously been admitted to hospital following accidental insulin overdoses on December 12 and 27 last year.

He underwent an assessment with a psychiatrist at the Royal Stoke and adamantly denied wanting to kill himself and insisted the overdoses had been accidental. In a statement, daughter Stephanie Whitby said: “My mum had always managed his medication, but when he went on insulin he managed that himself. “In recent months he had been taken to hospital after taking an overdose of insulin.

He was sorry and said he would try to manage it better. “Since the incident my mum would cook him meals and he’d feed them to the dog. He said he was frightened to go to sleep because he was frightened of not waking up.

“He never expressed wanting to end his life, more a fear of going to sleep and not waking up.”

The Royal Stoke University Hospital A&E’s department

The inquest heard Keith went into a diabetic coma following the latest overdose and never recovered. Recording a narrative conclusion, North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley said: “There is clear evidence of him having a condition that was extremely difficult to manage and regulate. “He was frightened of closing his eyes in case he didn’t wake up.

Those close to him were very concerned about the clear issues he had. “A poorly-controlled diabetes can manifest itself in this strange behaviour. On December 31 he was found unresponsive and it is not clear as to what state of mind he was in on that occasion.

“He died from the effects of an overdose of insulin in circumstances which are simply unknown.”

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