Sheldon Berman

Photo of a middle-aged man in a beanie.Name: Sheldon Berman.
Died: June 24, 2021.
Age at death: 60.
Cause of death: Murder (Beaten; head injury).
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Details:
Sheldon had autism and schizophrenia. He was very sweet and kind to everyone, but also very shy and nervous. He lived in a retirement home. He was often bullied because of his disability. Ten years before his death, he had been beaten up while walking to the store by five men who stole the $5 in his pocket.

Sheldon was attacked, beaten and stabbed, in a park. A witness called police, and he was taken to the hospital, but doctors found no brain activity, and his brother agreed to disconnect life support. Thanks to witness testimony, Sheldon’s attacker was arrested on the spot.

References:
Murder victim a “gentle soul” says brother
Help Sheldon Berman’s Family, organized by Aaron Hadida

Stephen Fogg

Name: Stephen Fogg.
Died: December 17, 2020.
Age at death: 60.
Cause of death: Homicide (Blunt trauma).
Location: Wembury, England, UK.

Details:
Stephen volunteered once a week at a Red Cross charity shop. He liked to wear lots of layers of clothing. Every Christmas, he decorated his home with lots of lights. He lived in a home inherited from his adoptive parents and had a carer coming in for a few hours a day to help him with things like shopping and cooking.

Stephen was found on his kitchen floor, having been kicked and stomped to death. A week later, police arrested a couple for killing him. One of the couple was caught on body cam admitting to the murder.

At trial, it was shown that the couple beat Stephen to death and falsely accused him of being a pedophile. Both were convicted of murder and will be sentenced to life, with the mandatory minimum sentence to be determined.

References:
Man and woman guilty of murder of vulnerable man
Duo found guilty of murder of Stephen Fogg in Wembury
Wembury murder trial updates as couple accused of killing man
Wembury murder suspect told police ‘I did it’, court hears

Heddwyn Hughes

Photo of a man wearing a paper Christmas crown and a blue shirt and tie. He has dark hair, fair skin, and blue eyes; his wide smile shows slightly crooked teeth.Name: Heddwyn Hughes.
Died: October 18, 2015.
Age at death: 67.
Cause of death: Broken neck.
Location: Carmarthen, Wales, UK.

Details:
Heddwyn lived in a residential unit when he fell out of bed and broke his neck. Staff picked him up and showered him, noticed that he couldn’t feed himself at breakfast, noticed that he couldn’t stand up, and put him back in bed; only then did they take him to the hospital.

At the hospital, it took four hours for Heddwyn to be seen by a doctor. The staff didn’t bother to tell the doctors that he had fallen, so his broken neck wasn’t diagnosed for ten days after it happened.

Heddwyn broke his neck in May 2015; in October 2015, he died.

References:
Autistic man fell at home before death
Inquest finds failings in treatment of man who died after care home fall
Care failings for autistic man who died
Doctor ‘not told’ autistic man had fallen
Heddwyn Tryfan HUGHES
Inquest into death of vulnerable adult with learning disability in Carmarthen care home opens Wednesday

Anthony Dawson

Photo of Anthony Dawson, an elder man wearing a bright red jacket over a black shirt. He has fair skin and is mostly bald except for a fringe of white hair. He has his hand to his face and looks somewhat puzzled.Name: Anthony Dawson.
Died: May 16, 2015.
Age at death: 64.
Cause of death: Untreated gastric ulcer.
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England, UK.

Details:
Anthony Dawson was a long-term resident of a care home. He didn’t speak, but could understand most conversations, and was popular in his hometown.

Anthony’s family was worried about him, because they knew he was being neglected, and was trying to get him into another placement.

Anthony had pica–an urge to eat non-food items–and would eat cigarette butts if he saw them. Although the facility itself was non-smoking, staff refused to clean up Anthony’s environment, and he ended up getting cigarette butts anyway. Since these are poisonous to eat, his family’s worries were justified, but staff seems to have done nothing to prevent him from eating them.

In the end, Anthony died from a gastric ulcer that went untreated so long that it perforated his stomach.

References:
Full jury findings – Anthony Raymond Dawson |
Jury blames inadequate care for death of man with learning disability
Full jury findings – Anthony Raymond Dawson
Care home neglect led to resident’s death
Brother’s care home death ‘preventable’
Care home neglect led to death of autistic man ‘shut away from the world’
He wanted to live: Sister tells of anger over poor NHS care that ‘robbed life’ of brother who had learning difficulties

Richard Meredith

Richard MeredithName: Richard Meredith
Died: Sept. 1, 2013
Age at death: 82
Cause of death: Choking, secondary to brain damage from lobotomy
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Details:
82 years old when he died, Mr. Meredith was born in the early 1930s, during the era of eugenics, lobotomies, and forced sterilization.

Digging through old medical records, Mr. Meredith’s family gathered that if he had been born today, he would have been diagnosed with “a moderate case of autism… [a] relatively mild disability.” He was a quirky, shy young man who did not look people in the eye and tended to fidget. He liked to spend his free time listening to radio programs, and he wanted to work on a truck. He had a few close friends; he loved to read, and he loved sports. He would spend hours shooting baskets or tossing a football.

At age 15, Richard Meredith was admitted to a state institution. He would spend the rest of his long life in such residential placements.

When he was about 17 years old, without his family’s permission, officials at the institution had a doctor perform a lobotomy on him. During the interview with the doctor, asked what he wanted most of all, Richard said that he wanted to develop his thinking, and that he wanted to go home. Instead, he got a lobotomy that made it impossible for him to ever live on his own. This now-infamous procedure, used on more than forty thousand people in the United States alone, severely damaged Richard’s brain as doctors intentionally severed the connections between the prefrontal lobe and the rest of the brain. The prefrontal lobe is approximately the front one-third of the brain, involved in planning, personality, and self-regulation.

Brain damage from the lobotomy “…left [Mr. Meredith] a virtual toddler, unable to ever again carry on a coherent conversation.”

Mr. Meredith spent 48 years in institutions; some were good, some bad. He found happiness visiting with his family and participating in the Special Olympics. He loved music and chocolate.

At 82, Mr. Meredith died in the same institution that had ordered the lobotomy, now modern and much changed. His family says he was happy there.

The institution told Mr. Meredith’s family that he had died from a heart attack. His sister only found out that they had lied when, months later, she read a newspaper article about the institution having been fined for giving Mr. Meredith a peanut butter sandwich when he had been prescribed a pureed-food diet. Mr. Meredith, who had a swallowing problem and, because of the lobotomy, could not communicate well enough to inform anyone that he had been given the wrong food, tried to eat the sandwich, choked, and died. Staff found him slumped over a table, unresponsive, and could not revive him.

The worker who gave Mr. Meredith the sandwich has been dismissed for negligence.

Mr. Meredith’s family sued the nursing home, a lawsuit that ended with awarding them a settlement of $150,000. The government responded to this by billing the family $25,000 for Mr. Meredith’s care.

References:
Branstad says disabled man’s family deserved truth about his death
Richard Meredith, Obituary
Iowa man’s death a tragic legacy of lobotomy
Lobotomy patient, Richard Meredith