DAD BECAME SHADOW OF SELF, LOSING 15ST BEFORE HE DIED
THE father of a dad-of-two who died after suffering from suspected PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following an attack while he was with his children has relived his heartbreak.
Edward Hallett from Gwaunmiskin, near Pontypridd, died on February 2 at the Royal Glamorgan hospital in Llantrisant aged 42.
He dropped from 22 stone to less than seven in little more than 18 months after the incident.
Edward’s dad Tony Hallett described his son as a “generous” man who would do “anything for anyone” – known in the community for his broad smile.
After playing for the Welsh cricket team as a teenager, Mr Hallett also played for Pontypridd Cricket Team and Beddau RFC, stopping his cricket career in 2012 after a series of injuries including losing three of his front teeth.
Mr Hallett married Claire the following year, becoming a devoted father to her son Callum as well as his daughters Teulu Mai and Eira Rose.
Tony said: “People say how much they miss his great broad grin. In the last months of his life he shied away from it.
“He loved a joke and loved a laugh and would do anything for anyone.
“He was a big home boy and wherever he was living he always found a way of coming back home to see them.
“He loved his girls and they worshipped him. He had infinite patience with them and would take them anywhere.”
However for the family the worry began after Mr Hallett became a “shadow of himself” in 2015 after he was assaulted following a collision, becoming nervous and reluctant to leave the house.
Overcoming a series of injuries to take on his dream job as a driver and salesman, Mr Hallett was returning from walking his dog on Llantrisant Common on October 13 when he became involved in a collision on a narrow road.
After stopping to check on fellow motorist Jason Maidment, Mr Hallett’s father described how he was assaulted from behind when pausing to comfort his 18-month daughter.
Mr Hallett said: “He was just talking to the baby. While that was happening, he was defenceless.”
An inquest in Aberdare heard Mr Hallett suffered from chronic anxiety and suspected PTSD in the months following the collision, including flashbacks to his daughter’s face in the car at the time of the incident.
Mr Hallett said: “One of the big worries he had in his mind was his baby in a dangerous place locked in the car. He was very reluctant to leave far from the house and became very insular. It destroyed every bit of his confidence. The damage was done, after that he went downhill so fast.
“From then on he was terrified and lost a tremendous amount of weight. He went to a shadow of himself.
“It’s very, very tragic for the family and we feel if he went down a different road, this never would have happened.”
Charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and driving without a licence and insurance, Maidment was sent to prison for three years.
However, while his family hoped Mr Hallett would have closure after his attacker was charged in 2016, he began a new determination to lose weight.
Haunted by memories of being bullied for his weight as a child, Mr Hallett shed around 15 stone.
Despite describing himself as “feeling like superman” to health care professionals in 2016, Mr Hallett continued to lose weight after exercising until falling to a dangerous level.
His father said: “He looked fabulous this time last year and all of a sudden he started losing more weight. We did recognise his eating disorder but it took a lot of effort to get him to the doctor.”
Recording Mr Hallett’s death due to multiple organ failure as a result of infection, coroner Andrew Barkley described surgeons as “fighting a losing battle” to save him as a result of his severe undernourishment.
A memorial match was played by Pontypridd Cricket Club on August 20, with former players returning from as far as London and Southampton.
Edward Hallett with wife Claire and daughters Teulu Mai and Eira Rose