Family of HMP Highpoint prisoner who died from liver cancer praise care he received at St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds
The family of a prisoner who died from liver cancer following a history of drug and alcohol abuse have praised the care he received at a hospice, an inquest heard yesterday.
Lee Devereux, 49, who was serving time at HMP Highpoint, Stradishall, died in September last year while receiving palliative care at St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds.
A biopsy found a liver lesion in Mr Devereux in February of the same year, but due to the aggressive nature of the cancer, not all of it could be removed during an operation a few months later, the inquest at Suffolk Coroners Court was told.
Dr Horst-Dieter Haas, clinical lead at HMP Highpoint, told the inquest how liver cirrhosis could develop in patients with a history of drug and alcohol abuse.
Mr Devereux also suffered from Hepatitis C and Diabetes, also associated with intravenous drug use and excessive alcohol intake.
Dr Haas, who has worked at HMP Highpoint since 2008, commended the care Mr Devereux received at St Nicholas Hospice.
“I think the level of the care at the hospice was really good and to a certain extent it was probably even better than we get in the community,” he said.
“He really had exceptional care.”
The court was told how Mr Devereux's mother and brother, Brian, were by his side at the time of his death.
In a statement to the court, Brian echoed Dr Haas' comments that the care his brother had received was fantastic, and described Mr Devereux as someone who made friends easily.
“Lee was the joker of the family and he had a great sense of humour,” Brian said.
He added: “Lee died with dignity and the respect he deserved.”
Coroner Christopher Long offered his condolences to Mr Devereux's family and stated the cause of death was by natural causes.