‘Very brave man’ who suffered chronic pain dies in Crawley hotel

A 49-year-old man who suffered chronic pain for 20 years died after an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, an inquest heard.

Sukhbir Singh Sandhu was found dead by hotel staff at the Arora Hotel in Southgate Avenue, Crawley on October 22 last year.

South East Coast Ambulance Service

South East Coast Ambulance Service

The inquest, held today (February 4) in Crawley, heard how Sukhbir, from Slough, had suffered a back injury in 1997.

He had three operations following the injury and had taken pain killers for the past two decades to relieve the chronic pain.

Sukhbir, who spent two years bed bound, and his wife Surjit had ‘tried absolutely everything to deal with the situation’, the inquest heard.

A statement read at the hearing said: “Sukhbir was determined not to give up work as he saw this as a cop out and he wanted to set the children a good example.

“Sukhbir had a very supportive employer who put measures in place to enable him flexibility to work from home and, if he had meetings around the country, a hotel room would be booked so he did not have to drive at night.”

He suffered an ‘accidental overdose’ on pain killers in September 2017 then again the next month.

But the inquest heard that in October last year Sukhbir was making ‘good progress’.

On Monday October 21 Sukhbir had to go on a business trip and a hotel room had been booked for him at the Arora Hotel.

He had texted in the afternoon to say he was in pain and was resting at the hotel, the inquest heard.

The next morning he messaged his wife to say he was in too much pain to work and that he was going to bed.

Sukhbir would ask to not be disturbed when he was in pain and his family would leave him to rest, the inquest heard.

When Surjit could not contact him later in the day she phoned the hotel and asked them to go and check on him.

But Sukhbir was found dead by hotel staff.

Paramedics confirmed his death at 9pm that night.

The coroner said: “He was a very brave man. He had gone through so much pain.

“I’m satisfied that Mr Sandhu sadly died on October 22 2019 as a result of taking various drugs.

“There’s no evidence to suggest that this was intentional therefore my conclusion is that of accident.”