As a writer of factual based evidence, and now fiction (manuscript, 'No Other Man', currently with agent in New York), I often walk into a lot of stories not knowing the ins-and-outs. I sit down and research or, if contacted, I offer people to write guest posts.
Back in 2007, Sara Carlin, a beautiful 18-year-old girl grabbed a piece of electrical wiring, fashioned a crude noose and hanged herself in the basement of her parents house while under the influence of the antidepressant drug Paxil (Seroxat in the UK).
I learned about Sara's plight when I stumbled upon her story in the Oakville Beaver, a Canadian newspaper. At the time, her inquest was approaching and this is when I took an interest.
It was a turning point for me personally and for the direction of this blog. Up until then I had targeted the British drug regulator for their limp-wristed approach to safeguarding the British public.
Sara Carlin changed all of that.
In her death she opened many doors for me. Her inquest, which was basically GSK & Friends Vs The Carlin Family, was reported on in the Canadian press. It was reporting that was biased beyond belief so I took it upon myself to cover the inquest by liaising with Sara's dad after each night of the inquest. I would write what the Canadian press were too afraid to write.
Now, without getting too 'spiritual' and delving into what some might deem as fiction, I was helped along the way by Sara herself. I felt her presence around me and today, which marks the 8th anniversary of her death, I still feel her presence.
In a twist of fate, divine intervention, call it what you will, my son and his wife gave birth to my granddaughter, Ruby-Rose, three years ago. She came into this world on the anniversary of Sara's death.
Sara had a profound effect on my life, she made me realise that this blog shouldn't just be a platform for me to vent my anger toward GSK and the MHRA, it should be a platform for all of those who have lost loved ones due to antidepressant induced suicide and, indeed, those who have lost children to birth defects caused by antidepressants.
As it stands today, my blog is vast approaching one and a quarter million hits, a large chunk of those hits came when I wrote during Sara's inquest. She put me on the map and for that I shall live forever in her debt.
I have become great friends with Sara's parents, Neil and Rhonda. Neil is the brother I never had and when we met in person for the first time some years ago, it was a moment that only a grieving father and passionate writer could fully comprehend. We embraced, cried then talked into the small hours, just Neil, Rhonda and I.
The Carlin family lost their daughter through the incompetence and failure of many. Treating physicians, a lacklustre regulatory system and a pharmaceutical company who chose, and continue to choose, profit over the life of a young woman who had everything to live for.
The inquest saw 16 recommendations made, to date, not one of those recommendations has been put into place. What a slur on the memory of Sara!
Sara Carlin opened my heart and my mind and, as a result, I now report on individual antidepressant induced suicides, or offer guest posts to help the grieving process of those left behind. She gave me the opportunity to give others a voice.
Take a bow angel.
I will be saluting your life later tonight with a bottle of wine.
Nessun Dorma Sara.
Bob (Your dad's soul brother)
This is for the Carlin's, they know what it means.
Sara Carlin Inquest – Failure of Oakville Medical Profession
Sara Carlin – ‘Death by Paxil’ Inquest – The ‘Expert’
Sara Carlin Inquest – Coroner’s Witness In U-Turn… And That Man Shaffer!
SARA CARLIN Ontario, Canada
Coroner’s Inquest – Glaxo & Friends Vs The Carlin Family
Sara Carlin Inquest – Local MP Slams GlaxoSmithKline
SARA CARLIN PAXIL INQUEST VIDEO FOOTAGE
SARA CARLIN PAXIL INQUEST GLOBAL TV NEWS
SARA CARLIN INQUEST - What The Jury Should Know
Sara Carlin Inquest - "Paxil likely played important role in teen's suicide"
Sara Carlin Inquest - The Eli Lilly 'Links' & Today's Recommendations.
**Exclusive - Sara Carlin Inquest: The Bias Of Coroner's Counsel, Michael Blain & Coroner, Bert Lauwers
Sara Carlin Inquest - We Know How, Now Tell us Why!