A FORMER engineer died from severe epilepsy which he suffered from after hitting his head when he fell on an escalator in a busy department store.
Francis Formstone, 65, of Wavertree Road, Blacon, died at the Countess of Chester Hospital the week before last Christmas, on December 18.
The fall happened two years earlier while Francis and his wife Carol were Christmas shopping at TJ Hughes in Chester, on December 12, 2004.
Family friend Jean Fraser, who had known Mr Formstone for more than 25 years, said: “A young man came down in the middle of them in a hurry and he fell. She didn’t know if he tripped or if he had got a bit of a knock.
“After that he was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital for treatment for his fall. He was having fits, became very short tempered, suffered a lack of memory, and he wasn’t able to walk very well.”
After a period in a specialist nursing home for brain injury sufferers, he returned home to live with his wife Carol.
The inquest heard that on December 12, 2006, he suffered some more serious fits, and he was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Arriving in a coma, he was taken to the intensive care unit but he died four days later.
A post-mortem examination found cause of death was a hypoxic brain injury brought on by continuous epileptic seizures, worsened by cirrhosis of the liver.
Francis started drinking heavily about nine years ago after his son died.
A statement from his widow Carol Formstone, who herself died about two weeks ago, read by coroner Geoffrey Roberts, said: “Before the fall he had been a fairly heavy drinker. We had a fine and happy marriage and life together”
Verdict: Accidental death.