The parents of Oskar Carrick are starting a Crowdfunding appeal to raise the necessary funds to ensure the right questions are raised at the Inquest into their son’s tragic death in June 2021.
Oskar was just 21 when he was found dead in his room at halls of residence in Sheffield, having committed suicide.
Oskar was living with the long term effects of a traumatic brain injury having been involved in a road traffic accident 18 months earlier. Oskar was the middle child of five and was outgoing, friendly and popular, he loved to travel and despite his disability was successfully living a happy and active life and was excited about starting university and making a career in film.
The university and halls of residence were fully aware of Oskar’s disability and his needs, and all the relevant forms had been completed relating to his care and procedures for notification. His mum was declared as the first point of contact should there be any concerns regarding his health or care needs.
Living with a disability
Oskar’s parents – Maxine Carrick and Gary Potts – claim that he was not depressed but was living with his disability and may also have struggled with life in the halls of residence during the period of COVID-19 lockdown. Over an eight-week period it appears that Oskar’s mental health deteriorated rapidly, but only a small amount of information was filtered back to the parents.
On 24th April 2021, Oskar was assessed at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield after he had been caught trying to commit suicide with a ligature in his room at the halls. He was assessed by two mental health Flow Co-ordinators and was deemed ‘low risk’ and sent back to his halls two hours later, even though he was showing no remorse for what he had done.
In the few documents shared with the parents, it can be seen that there were five separate occasions which should have triggered the university to contact Oskar’s parents, however, for reasons unknown this didn’t happen. At the Wellbeing Unit Oskar even consented to the information relating to his behavioural changes being shared with his parents and GP, but there could have been much greater communication. Three weeks later Oskar was found dead in his room.
Lapses in care needs and information sharing
Oskar’s parents are seeking some answers to critical questions relating to his care and the notification procedures, because they firmly believe that critical information is being withheld. Very quickly following Oskar’s death his student account, emails and student finance information was deleted without his parents’ consent. In order to raise these questions and secure the right legal support, Oskar’s parents are now hoping to raise the necessary funding. They have previously appealed for exceptional funding through Legal Aid, but were rejected.
Maxine Carrick commented:
“Our son did not come to Sheffield to die, he came to learn skills and to meet friends. Oskar is not able to put his side of the story over, therefore as his parents it is our duty to give him a voice. As we know through conversations with him days before, he did not want to die, he wanted to live, have a family and to travel. Universities should have a duty of care and information should be shared within different bodies of the university.”
Representing Oskar’s parents at the Inquest on November 21st will be Ruth Bundey of Ison Harrison. Ruth also commented:
“Oskar had his whole life ahead of him. His family cannot understand why his previous attempt to ligature in his hall of residence did not result subsequently in greater care.”
We will post updates relating to the Inquest into Oskar’s death and anybody wishing to contribute to the Crowdfunding appeal can do so here. The appeal is running for 30 days.