Popular dad died in his home after admitting he ‘wasn’t eating or sleeping’

Popular dad died in his home after admitting he ‘wasn’t eating or sleeping’
Hillsborough survivor Chris Lam died at his home in Widnes on April 7 at the age of 52. Pictured here with his daughter Rebecca, 20.

A popular dad died in his home after admitting he hadn’t been eating or sleeping and “looked tired” according to loved ones.

Christopher Kenneth Lam was found dead in his garage at home on Brackenwood Drive in Widnes on Thursday, April 7. An inquest held at Warrington Coroner’s Court heard about circumstances leading up to his death.

The 52-year-old Liverpool fan reportedly suffered with mental health issues for years after surviving the Hillsborough tragedy. A statement from his Chris’s wife Joanne Lam said Chris was “a Hillsborough survivor and suffered mental health issues for many years”.

She told the court that he had worked for HM Revenue and Customs and had also been employed by the Charity Commission. Joanne was not aware of any previous incidents of self-harm or thoughts of taking his own life “despite him suffering low mood on and off”.

In the weeks prior to his death, Chris had shown signs of experiencing difficulties. Joanne’s statement said: “In the past couple of weeks his mood was very low. It was clear he was struggling.

“My daughter had spoken to me and said he wasn’t right, he was shaking all the time.”

Chris had also suffered a fall at home six days before he died, and he had confided in Joanne’s father that he “wasn’t eating or sleeping”. The couple had separated last year and Chris was in a new relationship.

When Joanne saw him on April 4, they had a cup of tea and a chat and he “didn’t look right, he looked tired” and wasn’t looking after himself as much as usual, “which wasn’t like him”.

She said: “I gave him a hug and said I cared about him and I was here if he needed to talk. I said he needed to look after himself.

“He looked incredibly sad, like he wasn’t sure if he would see me again.”

She bumped into him again later when he was walking the dog and she stopped the car and chatted briefly with him, adding “he didn’t look himself”.

Chris didn’t seem right again when she spoke to him on April 5, with Joanne observing that Chris had “got himself into such a dark place”and
Chris Lam was described by his daughter as her “rock” and “best friend”
 (Image: Family handout)

Heath Westerman, assistant coroner for Cheshire, said a post-mortem examination by pathologist Dr Cheng Li found the cause of death to be hanging. Toxicology tests by Nicola Martin found no evidence of alcohol or drugs being implicated in the tragedy.

Joanne added that Chris can’t have been thinking “rationally” at the time he took his own life because he “absolutely adored” his daughter Rebecca and wouldn’t have wanted her to find him.

A statement from Chris’s GP said Chris had been a registered patient at Fir Park Medical Centre since 2001 and had struggled over the years with issues such as low mood, depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

In May, Chris’s daughter Rebecca, 20, issued a tribute to her father in which she said he had struggled with mental health issues in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 97 fans were unlawfully killed and whose 33rd anniversary on April 15 was approaching when Chris ended his life.

She said Chris was “well known” and “genuine” and a member of Widnes Running Club where his nickname among clubmates was “Mr Widnes”.

Remembering her dad, Rebecca said: “Chris was a wonderful man who brought happiness wherever he went. He was warm, kind, generous, funny, a sportsman, a supporter, a friend to many, a loved one and a doting father.

“He was also a massive Liverpool FC supporter and a Hillsborough survivor. He campaigned tirelessly for justice and felt passionately about the work of the HSA.”

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