Amy’s story: the tragic death of a teenager
A 14 year old boy in a girl’s body, with multiple mental health problems, was found dead in one of the most expensive mental health care establishments in the country.
An inquest will spend the next three weeks examining how and why the girl with Tourette’s syndrome, a history of self harm, repeatedly restrained and sedated, it’s alleged, came to die.
Yesterday her mother Tania El-Keria was the first witness. She placed a framed photo of her youngest daughter on the coroner’s desk for the jury to see while she unfolded the tragic story of Amy.
In tearful testimony, she described to the jury how by the age of five her daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, by the age of six with Tourette’s, then later placed under special educational needs.
Puberty was difficult, her mother said, especially being transgender.
The jury was told Amy began self-harming, and later talked of hanging herself. After several incidents, she was sectioned and detained at the Priory Hospital in Sussex.
That meant for her mother, every trip from her home in West London to see her would cost £100 and take four hours. “It was hard to find the money this money as I have very little money to live on,” she said.
She said she often phoned the hospital and left messages but her calls weren’t returned.
Amy was found dead in her room on 12 November 2012.
Her mother said: “We never gave up on her and she never gave up on us.”
Four years on from her daughter death, she hopes the inquest will find out how the system set up to protect Amy failed to prevent her tragic death.
Follow @simonisrael on Twitter