Hastings mum’s tribute to ‘gentle giant’

Sam Quinnell. Photo courtesy of Jayne Quinnell
Sam Quinnell. Photo courtesy of Jayne Quinnell

The mother of a Hastings man who died of a drug overdose described him as a ‘gentle giant’ and ‘like a teddy bear’.

Samuel Quinnell, of Ore Valley Road, died after an overdose of the prescribed painkiller, oxycodone, on January 8.

His mother Jayne Quinnell listened as coroner Alan Craze concluded her son died of a dependence on drugs at the inquest on Tuesday, September 8.

Speaking to the Observer this week, Jayne said Samuel’s death left a lot of people shocked.

She was relieved it was an accidental overdose as many people thought it was suicide.

“He was a gentle giant,” she said.

“He used to be a carer for a lot of old people out in the country in places like Rye.

“He was a big lad but like a teddy bear – Sam would do anything for anyone.

“But unfortunately he got caught up in his prescription medication.”

Samuel had a prolapsed disc in his back but surgery to treat it was unsuccessful.

The former shop assistant was prescribed painkillers to ease the pain but soon became addicted as Jayne said the oxycodone gave him a confidence boost which he craved.

“He wasn’t an angel but none of us are – he was just a lovely lad,” she said.

“It would be his birthday next month so as he loved Minions, we’re going to let off some Minions balloons as a tribute to him.

“Most people have calendars of girls in their bedrooms but he had one of Minions.”

GP Dr Howie told the inquest he regretted giving Samuel a month’s worth of medication over Christmas but he trusted him to stick to his daily amount. He was unaware Samuel was also stealing painkillers from his mother.

After hearing Samuel had around 37 times the therapeutic limit for oxycodone in his system when he died Mr Craze concluded a cause of death as an accidental overdose.

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