Former headteacher dies after two falls

A RETIRED headteacher died of head injuries after falling twice within 24 hours.

Bernard Wright, 84, who was head of Sandown School for 20 years from 1966, first lost his balance while using the toilet at Bannow Rest Home, in Quarry Hill, St Leonards, where he lived.

He was taken to the Conquest Hospital after staff called paramedics.

But Mr Wright later fell out of bed while staying at the hospital.

An inquest into his death, which happened on January 7, was held on Wednesday.

Dr Mark Boxer, the pathologist, who carried out the postmortem, said the pensioner, who was frail and prone to falls, suffered a subdural haemotoma, or bleeding on the brain, on two separate occasions because of his accidents.

Angela White, manager of Bannow Rest Home, said Mr Wright lived there for 18 months and was quite frail when he first moved into Bannow.

She said: “Within a few months he became quite poorly and developed problems with his prostate. He was deteriorating over time while with us and the falls started only two months after moving to Bannow. A lot of his falls were in his bedroom. He would slip on the side of the chair or bed.”

Ligita Miliene, senior carer at Bannow, was with a colleague helping Mr Wright use the bathroom when he slipped.

They both summoned help and dialled 999.

Sany Eldhose, staff nurse at the Conquest’s MacDonald ward, where the pensioner was admitted, said she heard a bang and discovered Mr Wright had fallen out of bed so examined him.

She said: “He was not complaining of any pain and was assisted by us into a bed with cot sides. We also moved him closer to the nurses’ station so we could keep a close eye on him.”

Ms Eldhose regularly carried out neurological tests to check on Mr Wright’s condition but at 4.30am on January 7 discovered he had no pulse and had died.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of accidental death.