'He had a heart of gold': Sister's tribute after brother's drug-related death

The sister of a man who suffered a drug-related death told how her brother had a “heart of gold”.

David Pritchard (right) with sister Louise Copeland
David Pritchard (right) with sister Louise Copeland

David Rodney Pritchard, aged 41, was rushed to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital after being found unresponsive at Shrewsbury Ark on April 8 this year.

Medics found he had a hypoxic brain injury, and was transferred to Royal Stoke University Hospital. He never recovered, and died at the hospital several months later on September 6. An inquest into his death heard that he had taken heroin.

His sister, Louise Copeland, shared her happier memories of David, and tried to tell the story of the man he was.

“One of my last memories of him was a meal we went for at The Featherbed. We had such a good time. And I remember when we went down to London for the weekend and he got his tongue pierced. We went round Camden Lock and went to the market. It’s something I’ll always remember.

“I went into the Yorkshire House last week, which was somewhere David would go. The woman behind the bar asked me how I was doing. I said I miss him like mad. I just want him to burst through the door and say ‘how are ya, sis?’ and give me a big hug.”

She added that David liked tinkering with cars and motorbikes and would make go-karts for children. He wasn’t a bad lad, life just went a bit wrong for him. He had a heart of gold and he adored his kids.”

John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, recorded a conclusion of drug-related death at David’s inquest held at Shirehall.

Talking about addiction, Louise added: “There is help out there, but you’ve got to want it. You’ve got to be in the right place. Sometimes you’ve got to hit rock bottom.”

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