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Harry Horne-Roberts Death Ruled Heart Attack

HARRY_HORNE_ROBERTSManaging Editor's Note: For background on Harry Horne-Roberts' death please read Harry Horne-Roberts's Parents Welcome Probe into Death While in Autism Care Home . I was recently at a therapy center and noticed a huge weight gain in two teen boys with autism who are each now grossly obese and have difficulty walking. What of their health?  Again, our condolences to Harry's family.

By Sarah Collins of Ham & High

Harry Horne-Roberts was just 20-years-old when he died two years after moving into Hillgreen Care home in Haringey.

There had been no indication that anything was wrong and just days before his death he went walking with his parents in Epping Forest and was his usual bouncy self.

But on December 16, 2009 at 7am he was found face down on his bedroom floor and pronounced dead at 10.30am.

Coroner Dr Andrew Walker of Barnet Coroner’s Court ruled the 22-stone teenager’s death was due to a heart attack linked to obesity at an inquest on Wednesday last week (January 4).

But Harry’s parents, Jennifer Horne-Roberts and Keith Roberts, claimed strong anti-psychotic drugs he was given without their knowledge were responsible.

They claim his three stone weight gain during 15 months in care was due to the drug chloropromazine and that the boisterous 6t-teen was given the drugs without their knowledge.

Before he moved to the care home, Harry had been exuberant and regularly took part in sports and outings.

His parents took the “heartbreaking” step to put Harry into care to increase his independence, but claimed during the inquest they were instead locked out of his treatment with “catastrophic consequences”.

They only learned that he was on the drug when a carer let the information slip in March 2009 and then wrote four letters to Harry’s psychiatrist without receiving a reply.

During the inquest psychiatrist Dr Sujeet Jaydeokar said: “There was a breakdown of communications.”

He added: “With hindsight it would have been better if we had copied you into the letters. We have now changed our practice and now copy all letters to family members.”

Haringey Mental Health Trust acknowledged its failure to implement a dietician-led weight loss programme.

The trust has now implemented new processes to improve the outcome for obese patients with learning disabilities.  Read the full article in Ham & High.



Thanks for the information. Would you know if Keppra or Lamicatal are? I think Zonnagram that my son was on is probably such a drug.

But ----- On top of the drugs though; is the fact that "some" kids (don't know the number because the research is not there, they have been slow, so very slow to even look or pay attention to parent's complaints)" but kids with atypical kawasakis or kawasakis years later do have cardiac conduction block or dysrhythmia problems, or they may even have the heart muscle slowly hardning and stiffening (what is that called, I forgot?) IT IS NOT JUST the blood vessels leading to the heart forms ballooning anerusims and then starts collecting cholesterol at the sit.

Autism is not the only disease that parents are meeting resistance from. There are researchers (doctors) out there that have parked their big (forgive me) arse in very nice, state of the art hosptials and claim that they are the EXPERT of Kawasakis. They kindly take calls from young parents of very young children in the hosptial, they tell the parents that they would be so very glad to speak to their child's doctor to help that doctor know what to do because they are so kind. Over 30 plus years and they know nothing more except at a certain stage if caught in time they can give IVIGs, and if that don't work try it maybe again and then if it don't work maybe try it again and if that third time don't work reach for steroids.
Once the acute stage is past, release them, don't follow up with them, unless the parents are such hypocondriacts to demand another ECHO sound every few years. But those parents have to demand it though.

Eileen Nicole Simon

Thank you Benedetta and Kathy for your condolences. Today is the 17th anniversary of Conrad's death, and I am still not dealing with it very well. Conrad had no heart problems, and he was very athletic, a Special Olympics champ at snow-shoeing! Following is from the website I setup in Conrad's memory (in April 2000), in case it might be helpful to anyone else. His being drugged to death remains an absolute outrage to this day:

We were shocked to learn that cause of death was due to chlorpromazine (Thorazine) intoxication. Investigations by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation and the Disabled Persons' Protection Commission included a review of the data by an independent toxicologist, who concluded that death may have resulted from a phenothiazine induced cardiac conduction block or dysrhythmia.

The medication administration record was carefully reviewed and no discrepancy in drug inventory was found. No indication of accidental overdose was indicated. Physician orders were:

Haldol (haloperidol) 6 mg/day 3 mg at 8am and 3:30pm
Thorazine (chlorpromazine) 1500 mg/day 500 mg at 3:30pm, 7pm, and 8:30pm
Depakote (valproate) 2000 mg/day 500 mg at 8am and 3:30pm, 1000mg at 7pm
Mylicon (simethicone) 80 mg at 8am, 3:30pm, and 7pm
Chloral Hydrate 2 grams at 8:30pm

The most recent orders were written by a psychiatrist who had taken on care of the group home residents only recently, and who expressed concern to the investigators about the use of two phenothiazine compounds. Staff of the group home had been reluctant to accept a change in medications, claiming that it was this combination that brought clinical stability to this client over the past four years.

Conrad's physical health was excellent; he was not overweight, he exercised, and ate well. There was no family history of cardiovascular causes. At his annual physical exam, liver enzymes and other laboratory studies were all within normal limits. According to the autopsy report, there were no significant atherosclerotic changes in blood vessels of the heart.

I reported this case to the Food and Drug Administration, and submitted a 500-word letter-to-the editor for publication. I received a form letter from the FDA and a rejection from the journal to which I submitted a letter. We investigated filing a lawsuit, but abandoned this when it appeared to be turning into a long, complicated, and futile effort. I am sure Conrad's is not the only death so neatly swept under the rug.

I don't understand legal proceedings, but I have now spent much of my life investigating all that is known about autism. The legal route did not appear to offer any solutions for better treatment of people with autism; science should. So I decided my efforts would be better spent in trying to promote wider understanding of autism based on multi-disciplinary viewpoints such as the findings from research on cerebral circulation and metabolism.

Chlorpromazine was introduced nearly half a century ago as a treatment for intractable psychotic illnesses. It is not a cure and it is clearly toxic. Its use for treatment of autism would appear to be utterly unwarranted, and based on totally out-of-date thinking about therapeutic approaches to working with people with autism spectrum disorders.


(on deaths related to use of anti-psychotic medications):

Hollister LE, Kosek JC: Sudden death during treatment with phenothiazine derivatives. JAMA 1965; 192:1035-1038

Moore MT, Book H: Sudden death in phenothiazine therapy (a clinicopathologic study of 12 cases). Psychiatric Quarterly 1970; 44:389-402

Cancro R, Wilder R: A mechanism of sudden death in chlorpromazine therapy. Am J Psychiatry 1970; 127:368-371

Girdwood RH: Death after taking medicaments. British Medical Journal 1974; 1(906):501-504

Evans DL, Rogers JF, Peiper SC: Intestinal dilation associated with phenothiazine therapy: a case report and literature review. Am J Psychiatry 1979; 136:970-972

Wakasugi C, Nishi K, Yamada M: Sudden death in a patient taking neuroleptics. American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 1986; 7:165-166

Jusic M, Lader M: Post-mortem antipsychotic drug concentrations and unexplained deaths. British Journal of Psychiatry 1994; 165:787-791

kathy blanco

My son had a pacemaker planted in 2010, because his heart flatlined (official word asytoled), in ER. Previous to that he was on a new variety of anticonvulsants, keppra and lamictal. I found out later both can cause heart problems, and one was indicted with aseptic meningitis. My had had NO previous problems with his heart...however on hindsight I saw a VERY few amount of times I can count on my one hand where it appeared he fainted or just briefly passed out. Signalling problems in autism, the vagus nerve is all screwed up in autism. Especially, ESPECIALLY, if they have seiuzures becuase they can cause life long damage to the heart. Tegretol is also known to cause asystole events. My son was on that drug FOREVER. So please find out if this poor child died of a combo of seizures AND a heart rhythem problem. I can bet this was the case. Also our kids do have problem with general BODY inflammation. WHEAT is known to cause general body inflammation (especially the hyrid wheats we now grow for all americans). PANDAS disorders, yep, they can cause heart problems, anti strep antibodies were also detected in my son. Cardiolipin antibodies also. So, if you think the brain/gut is the only organ (s) that is diseased or inflammed in autism, think again. Anyone who tells me autism doesn't kill you, should talk to Henry and Eileen. I almost lost my son three times in ER, flatlining, crashcart, the whole nightmarish scenario. Cardiologist over him thinks it's also metabolic stuff, so mitochondrial kids, heart block is a big time problem. If your kid has lyme, same deal, can cause heart block (which my son also has). Please make sure your kids are eating properly, and are not into junk foods, you have them off of wheat, a low carb high fat (good fat that is) diet.


Eileen Nicole Simon; I am so sorry for you lose.
Harry's parents; I am so sorry for yours too.

Heidi N

What about seeing if the psych meds were a contributor to the heart attack. I have heard that certain psych meds can be instantly fatal if mixed with certain over-the-counter items.


Anyone with even a shred of common sense knows that this ruling is ridiculous. Alas common sense is in short supply when it comes to protecting interests of anything tied to big pharma and industrial medicine. My deepest condolences to Harry's parents for this continued injustice.

Eileen Nicole Simon

I posted a comment on the Ham & High website. Chlorpromazine (also known as Thorazine) was the cause of my son Conrad's death 17 years ago. It, and many other "anti-psychotic" medications damage the mitochondria, thus also severely impair aerobic metabolism.

I got no where with the legal system, so told Conrad's story on the website I setup in his memory. I have also worked hard to understand the neuroscience of developmental language disorder, also to no avail, but I will keep working on this. Current concepts of autism are ridiculous in the extreme, especially in ignoring the language disorder and the brain, in favor of far-fetched musings about genetics.


Many antipsychotic drugs can cause metabolic problems and subsequent weight gain - and as Donna L. points out, cardiac side effects. It's very well documented. For the coroner to exclude from the decision, any action by this drug which was given to Harry, is outrageous. Where processing of psychotropic drugs is concerned, there is an almost complete lack of awareness within the profession, of the difficulties faced by persons on the autism spectrum.
An alarming study by Dr Alex Mitchell from Leicester University, recently found that deaths from psychiatric drugs are now four times greater than suicides. Side effects are not being efficiently monitored.
Wishing Jennie and Keith continued strength - and thank you for warning others by telling your heartbreaking story. .

Theodore Van Oosbree

Risperidone ia another anti-psychotic strongly associated with weight gain and also used to treat autism.


Oh and on the side here is Trine Alert; Safer vaccine behind rise in Pertussis

James Cherry is back GURRRRR with some other idiot!

I tried to post over there but with a slow computer and being computer dummy was not able too.

I tried to tell them that there was in the 80s during the time of the whole cell (but much better vaccine) DPT ---three children that attended our church all damaged that involved the pertussis.
My two that had the vaccine;
My son who takes two pills every day to keep from having seizures, because of the whole cell DPT shot.
My daughter that had Kawasakis, now is bipolar and takes a seizure medication so she won't have seizures in certain sleep cycles because of the whole cell DPT shot.
and a red headed girl that actually contacted pertussis as a few days old infant in a community that was completly vaccinated with the whole cell DPT shot.

If some one can get this comment on the Miami post I would be grateful?

Angus Files

Nightmare for Jenny and Keith ,Chlorpromazine is a well known cause of heart attack.R.I.P.We still fight on thanks to Jennie and Keith

God Bless



How heart breaking.
Donna L is right but on top of this but I can't keep from thinking that all of the children with autism started out with UNRECOGNIZED KAWASAKIS, a known disease linked to heart disease.

Of course they all said after this - he was born that a way.

The very first DPT shot my son had in his next well baby visit a few days later - and too my surprise as well as the ped was a swollen boot shaped heart with a heart murmur.

Going back to his his birth records and previous well baby vistis we have four peds if not more that reported no heart murmur, every thing normal, good heatlhy birth, good healthy boy baby.

And then his third month I get this???
It is a waiting time bomb OH< yes something else to be hanging over our heads.

Kawasakis also messes up the metabolism - LONG TERM.
Too make matters worse mine likes to eat/ and it is constant struggle to keep the weight off - and I blame messing up the metabolism for that too. Am I going to far out on the limb here??? Am I being unresonable and blaming to much on a vaccine that was given to him two decades ago? Am I a lunatic? I really would like to know if I am being unreasonable?

Jeannette Bishop

I noticed how they say once again "linked to" obesity. Do we know obesity is a cause of anything it is blamed upon, or does research just suggest that it is co-morbid condition and stops short at seeking cause?

Obesity seems to be another "blame the parent" and "blame the patient" condition to me, where the actual cause(s) probably in part implicate institutions and practices held, for too long, above scrutiny.

Thank you to Harry's parent for speaking out!

Donna L.

Implementing a weight loss program isn't going to do any good if these places continue to prescribe drugs that are known to cause cardiac problems:
"General Systemic Events:
Sudden death has occasionally been reported in patients who have received phenothiazines. In some cases, the death was apparently due to cardiac arrest

Chlorpromazine has peripheral alpha-adrenergic blocking activity. Its effects on the heart include: direct negative inotropic and quinidine-like actions. Its effects on the ECG include prolongation of the PR and QT intervals, blunting of the T wave and depression of the S-T segment. Ventricular arrythmia and sudden death have occurred rarely."

Linking Harry's heart attack to 'obesity' looks to me like a thinly veiled attempt to get them off the hook for prescribing this deadly drug in the first place.

My sincere condolences to Harry's parents. What a horrible tragedy, what a beautiful boy.

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