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TORN BETWEEN TO BE WITH SON OR N ...

Posted Aug 09 2009 10:07pm
TORN BETWEEN TO BE WITH SON OR NOT


Source : Camden News


Social services held emergency talks on moving an art historian to
secure accommodation amid fears for his safety just months before he
was killed by his son, the New Journal has learned. Professor Lee
Johnson, 81, was beaten up and left to die in a house fire started by
his son Michael in July 2006. Both men were rescued from the blaze but
Professor Johnson died from shock in hospital. The tragedy that
unfolded was described as "avoidable".

The council people did what they could to protect Professor Johnson,
including calling the police in for advice. But Professor Johnson
wanted to continue to see his son alone. Neither the council nor the
police could stop that.

Judge Beaumont said it was "necessary for the protection of the public
from serious harm at Michael's hands" that Johnson be held under the
Mental Health Act. At the time of the offence he was suffering from a
mental illness of a nature that makes it appropriate for him to be
detained in a hospital, said judge. The drugs and his epilepsy brought
him to this act. This tragedy has arisen as a result of the delusion
within Michael Johnson's mind after what was a solid relationship, and
under no normal circumstances would he dream of harming his father.

Dr Peter Fenwick, one of the country's leading epilepsy experts, said
Keppra, the drug Johnson was being prescribed, was controversial. It
is well known for three major effects, he said. It is extremely good
for seizure cessation. Secondly, it makes people very irritable and
thirdly it can induce encephalopathy (brain disease) and from that can
arise psychosis. A number of my patients do develop psychosis.

(Definition of psychosis)
In the general sense, a mental illness that markedly interferes with a
person's capacity to meet life's everyday demands. In a specific
sense, it refers to a thought disorder in which reality testing is
grossly impaired.

This piece of tragic news reminded me of my Penang friend. In an
epilepsy support group meeting, she related of a nightmarish event
that unfolded in her home. Her teenager son who was epileptic had a
seizure one afternoon. Knowing her son's unexplainable violence during
a seizure, she hid herself in her bedroom. Little would she expect her
son to dash into her bedroom with a chopper knife. She had known very
well from her son's past seizures that windows in her house would be
smashed and furniture would be broken. But to attack her with a
chopping knife was beyond her imagination.

She screamed for her life and yelled hysterically for help. In her
attempt to escape from her "unintentional" killing son, she suffered
slashes and cuts. She dashed into a storeroom and locked herself in.
She waited till silence was restored and heard her son groaning in
pain. She knew by then his seizure had stopped. She walked out of the
storeroom and found her son lying half conscious on the floor of the
kitchen.

She called the police in immediately before her son regain full
consciousness. She also called an ambulance for herself. Her son was
being detained in the police lockup. She survived the fatal killing
act coming from her epileptic son and was so traumatised that she
never wanted to see her son again. She told us in tears drenching her
blouse that it was extremely heartbreaking for her to see her son end
up in a hospital and eventually, in an asylum, permanently.

I empathised my friend's situation and as a mum of a son I was also
very heartbroken to hear such a tragic piece of news. Epilepsy robbed
her of her only child. Because of all the harrowing experiences my
friend had gone through with her son, my friend was determined to
share the moral of her story with all caregivers -ALWAYS CARE AND
LOVE YOUR CHILDREN FOR WHO AND WHAT THEY ARE. THEY ARE PRICELESS.
UNLESS THEY HAVE COMMITTED ACTS OF KILLING, DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM
THEM. VALUE AND TREASURE THEM ALWAYS BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHETHER
YOU WILL LOSE THEM OR NOT OUT OF EXPLAINABLE AND ACCEPTABLE HEALTH
PROBLEMS.





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