Tragic butcher vomited blood


A HEAVY-drinking butcher succumbed to liver disease after he was hospitalised for coughing up blood an inquest has heard.

Mark Blackledge, 38, was rushed to Wigan Infirmary on August 24 and placed in an induced coma.

Sadly, he died a week later on August 31.

In a statement, Mr Blackledge’s father, Terence, told Bolton Coroner’s Court how his son had been a heavy drinker - but that he had only found that out relatively recently.

He told how he had received a telephone call from one of Mr Blackledge’s friends on August 24 to say that his son had been hospitalised after vomiting blood.

Consultant gastroenterologist Dr Kelly told how Mr Blackledge, of Kingsley Avenue, Worsley Mesnes, had acute hepatitis and liver failure - which had most likely been caused by excessive drinking.

Upon his arrival at hospital, a management plan was agreed with liver specialists because it was felt that his liver disease was too severe for a transplant.

Mr Blackledge’s GP, Dr Devenney, told how he had been referred to the alcohol and drug dependancy service and had been due to undergo a medical to determine his fitness to work.

While Dr Garg, a specialist doctor with the drugs service, said Mr Blackledge had undergone a series of reviews from 2007 onwards.

The latter stages of his treatment involved methadone prescriptions but also alcohol treatment.

Dr Garg told how Mr Blackledge had been classed as heroin and alcohol-dependant and had often had a “chaotic” involvement with the service.

In the last few months of his life he was tried on a different drug but had been unable to stabilise on it, and he had repeatedly failed to tackle his alcohol problem - despite detox programmes.

Daphne Dean, of the Wigan and Leigh Recovery Partnership, told how Mr Blackledge would often turn up late and intoxicated.

He had told her he would continue to drink what he wanted and take what he wanted, despite being advised to start tackling his problems due to his poor health.

Pathologist Dr Naveen Sharma recorded the cause of death as acute gastro-intestinal bleeding due to cirrhosis of the liver and alcoholic liver disease. Coroner Alan Walsh recorded that Mr Blackledge died an “alcohol-related death”.