Dear Sara

Dear Sara

I’m very sorry but I won’t be sitting in the coroner’s court on Monday to support you. I’ve given this a huge amount of thought but I just can’t bear to go back into that room again.

I am still in pain at the thought of that room and the memory of Nico’s inquest still holds such power. So, knowing that, what words of support and comfort can I possibly offer you?

The simple answer is – none.

I wish I could. I wish I had those words and if I did have those words I would wrap them up in gold and wrap a silk bow around them and hand them to you on a silver plate– or more realistically, I’d write them down here. If I thought that there was anything I could say which would bring you comfort I would say it – I would scream it. But what I can do is write to you from my heart and perhaps there will be some small comfort in here somewhere.

You and your family have waited 2 years and 3 months (to the day?) since that phone call shattered your world into pieces and you lost your laughing boy. Those 2 years and 3 months has been filled with trauma and horror beyond most people’s comprehension. It’s almost impossible for most people to imagine what it would be like to lose a child and then to have the might of two great megalith organisations turned on you in spite and malice. Oxfordshire County Council. Southern Health NHS Trust. Yes – I name you. I know you and I see what you have done and I do not forgive you. I am one of many.

Do you think that you can make what you have done go away? You cannot. It does not matter what cheap tricks and legal jargon you and your vast wealth can throw out in that court room. I know you already and I am one of many. But I know more than most for I have already sat in that awful room and I have seen your tricks. I have heard your lies and sugar coated deceptions.

I know how much money you spend on winning. Yes, winning. That’s all that matters to you isn’t it? Your legal team is engaged by you at vast expense to win. If during the course of the inquest you have to batter the family until they can barely hold their heads up, that’s fine. You don’t care. We are just collateral damage in your scramble to ensure that you do not lose.

Because you have so much to lose don’t you? You lose your reputation, you lose the case. I can’t think of anything else you have to lose. You lose people’s trust in you, but I’m actually not sure that you can technically lose something which is already lost. So really you don’t have that much to lose.

Whereas we – the families. We have a great deal to lose. And we have already lost so much.

When you lose your child that is a loss almost too large for your heart to bear. When you are told that you are delusional, a liar at worst and a pitiful obsessively grieving mother at best, then your heart cracks and is lost again. Southern Health NHS Trust, do you sleep well? Do you fear that all that you throw out into the world, all that you do and all that you have done to us and all that you have done and will do to the Ryan family – do you fear that it will come back over and over again to haunt you?

It will.

So Sara, my words are this. This is one part of the struggle for justice. Just one part. It’s a big part because you’ve waited a long time for it, but no matter what happens it will end and there will be life beyond it (and probably the fight will go on) even though it doesn’t feel like it now. No-one is more committed, more prepared, more ready for the fight than you, your family and your team and if they have the smallest grain of sense they will quake in their boots when they see you coming.

Anyone, any fool out there who says that the inquest is a “non-adversarial process” was clearly not in my son Nico’s inquest, and clearly is not going to be present at Connor’s inquest.

Do not fear them Sara. When you sit there you may think you can count the supporters you have around you and compared to the legal team of Southern Health they don’t seem many. But also sitting with you too will be a vast invisible army of supporters. Maybe not physically present in the room, but we will all of us be with in our hearts and in our souls and we will stay with you, come what may.

With my very best wishes

Rosi Reed (who waited 2 years and 4 months to sit in the same coroner’s court last December for the 3 day inquest of her son Nico – so I really do know). X



8 thoughts on “Dear Sara

  1. This is so true. I am currently fighting my local authorities both council and nhs to provide the support to keep my son at home that was agreed in court, to treat my son properly after further complications from surgeries that should have taken place years ago happened too late and led to further problems. All I want is the support legally entitled to yet money is wasted time and time again with lies and corruption taking place, bullying and punishment given to me for standing up for my son, from both the nhs and local authorities. The money wasted could have provided the support and health treatment he needs. What has to happen? Where is justice and human decency and truth? Who can I turn to for help and support?

    • Hi Clare. This is a story which is becoming so horribly familiar to me. Sometimes it feels as if we are trapped in a kind of netherword which no ordinary family could even begin to imagine. I do think that families like ours are easier to push around and ignore because the truth is that we have no real voice, no voice of power and this is something I think about a lot. We set up SO many meetings to discuss the issues that worried us. So many times we tried to prevent exactly what came to pass and this will I think, haunt me to my dying day. So what’s to be done? Why has this situation come about where we (the family) have become the enemy? On a more personal level, thinking about what you’ve told me here, I wonder if it would help at all if you had an advocate who could go with you to meetings? On a permanent level I just know so strongly that this has to change. It’s absolutely not acceptable. If you make someone your enemy that’s exactly what they will become…..I feel a new blog coming on!

  2. Hi Sara – I have been running a campaign for patients’ rights for over 4 years following the alleged murder of my mother in the JR in Oxford. The Oxon NHS Trust and that buffoon of a CE Sir Jonathan Michael know me well. I have been asked by the Sunday Times to write an article about my mother’s death. I have lawyers behind me. We may be able to help each other by getting justice for your son and my mother. I know these NHS people. They lie, manipulate and treat you and your family very badly. I am also writing a book on what I see as corruption and inhumanity within the NHS and other bodies supporting the NHS. Please contact me if you wish and we can talk. Email me and I will email you my number. I am a former School Principal.

    • Hi Karim. I’d quickly like to point out that I’ve written this blog in the form of an open letter to Sara Ryan, but of course I’m not Sara. I’m extremely sorry to hear your story and to hear of yet another family left devastated not only by the loss of a very dear parent, but by the way they have been treated afterwards. At this point I am waiting for my son’s Independent Investigation, commissioned by NHS England and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to begin. In order to achieve the best possible result I have insisted on co-writing the Terms of Reference and also interviewing candidates to head up the investigation. We’re half-way through seeing some great candidates and hopefully by the end of the month will have appointed and can begin the investigation. What that will bring, who knows, but that’s where I’m at right now and if you’d like to read more about our case, about our own inquest experience, it’s all here in the blog. At the moment I’m not feeling able to do more than this, so for now I must limited myself to being happy to write back to you when you comment on the blog, but thank you so very much for your support, which is hugely appreciated.

  3. Beautifully, and truthfully written Rosi from the heart – which along with Sara`s has been crushed by this monster created from Southern Health & OCC. Let’s hope for victory and justice for all.

  4. Amen to that my friend. I feel so strongly that we need to NOT accept that this is done to parents as part of this procedure. These organisations need to put aside their own fears and support parents when they need it most. If they acted with compassion, truth, candour and care things might have been very different for both Sara and her family and also for us.

  5. whoah this blog is fantastic i really like reading your
    articles. Keep up the great work! You recognize, a lot of people are searching round for this info,
    you can aid them greatly.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’m not sure how much I’m able to help people but if anything I write helps anyone who reads it then I’m very pleased about that. I began this blog just as another way to make my way through the maze of grief that I found myself trapped in. As time has gone on and I’ve written more I’ve found myself to be more confident about expressing my opinions and finding my own writing voice, but I still feel it’s very early days yet as we’re still (still!) plodding round the treadmill of getting justice (whatever that is) for Nico.

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