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Grieving mum Tracey Carnahan starts petition to speed up inquest into death of son Sean Paul

By Angela Rainey

Published 16/02/2016

Grieving mum Tracey Carnahan
Grieving mum Tracey Carnahan
With her son Sean Paul

A grieving mother is set to present First Minister Arlene Foster with a petition with more than 2,500 signatures in a move to speed up her son's delayed inquest.

Mother-of-five Tracey Carnahan says she's been forced to set up the petition to advance police investigations into who is responsible for son Sean Paul's death.

The 22-year-old chef was admitted to Belfast City Hospital on March 8, 2013 after a failed suicide attempt prompted by a legal high known as China White.

Sean Paul, from Beechmount in west Belfast, was 6ft 2in and weighed 12 stone on his admission with a brain injury, but when he died four months later on July 19 he weighed just five stone.

"My son died a slow and agonising death and I will take watching his suffering to my grave," Mrs Carnahan said.

"There's been no inquest yet as the police are investigating whether to bring criminal prosecutions.

"This has gone on far too long - it's shocking - so I have set up the petition and asked for a meeting with Arlene Foster and Simon Hamilton.

"I hope with Arlene, being a mother herself, she will help us and see that no child should have died the death my son did.

"We're trying to get as many signatures as possible before then so she can see the support it has.

"We need answers because every time there's a small step forward there seems to be another 10 back."

Mrs Carnahan (44) who was widowed 14 years ago, says she has enlisted support from friends and family to get more signatures on the petition and will be taking to the streets and shopping centres to gather more.

So far more than 2,200 people across the world have signed the petition on Facebook and with many people contacting her to tell her of similar experiences at different hospitals.

"This whole situation is shocking," said Mrs Carnahan.

"The stress of it is constantly hanging over us. It has wrecked my other kids' lives and I cannot rest until I get justice for my son.

"My son went in to hospital with a brain injury and died of malnutrition. He lost seven stones. In his medical notes he had been starved for so long that he was diagnosed with Refeeding Syndrome, where his body began to break itself down for food.

"By the time they realised, they tried to reverse it, but it was too late. The damage was done.

"He was only a kid, that's all he was. This whole situation is breaking my heart."

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