Maida Vale model driven to suicide by unbearable toothache pain

The family and friends of a “high flying” Maida Vale model are trying to raise the profile of the little-known tissue disorder that drove him to suicide.

Dorian Thomson, 41, of Widley Road, was found hanged in his bedroom on December 7 last year.

He suffered from the genetic Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). This causes weakened joints and led him to live in “an enormous amount of pain” with problems eating, sleeping and moving.

Mr Thomson had been “highly outgoing” and “enjoyed a thriving social life”, an inquest heard at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Wednesday. He worked as a model for a number of years and turned on the Regent’s Street Christmas lights in 1999. He then become art director for the high-end Japanese fashion designer Michiko Koshino.

But his EDS, which he had unknowingly suffered from throughout his life, took a turn for the worse after orthodontic work in 2004, the court was told.


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Ross Illingworth, who had been friends with Mr Thomson for 10 years, said: “He was in an enormous amount of pain and every tooth permanently ached.

“He was in more pain than anyone can conceive of for about six years.”

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Mr Illingworth said he had met weekly with Mr Thomson to “put together evidence concerning the orthodontist who left his teeth in such a condition”.

He added: “He was still capable of being the joyous outgoing person but it’s very difficult to do that in the face of such pain.”

Speaking outside court, Mr Illingworth said there was a “systemic failure in the knowledge of EDS and whether you should have major surgery” such as Mr Thomson’s orthodontic procedure.

“Dorian didn’t want anybody to go through what he did,” he said.

Mr Thomson’s family and friends are also attempting to have an official investigation launched into why his orthodontist failed to try to rectify his problems.

Mr Thomson had attempted an overdose earlier in 2011 and had contact with Swiss assisted dying group Dignitas, the court heard.

On the day of his death, he texted Mr Illingworth twice saying “we are done”.

His friend then found him hanged in his bedroom.

Coroner Dr William Dolman said Mr Thomson had been a “high-flying outgoing man” who had “retreated into himself” as a result of his condition.

“He had a history of unsuccessful work with orthodontics and had reached the end of his tether,” he said. “I can clearly understand his situation.”

He ruled the cause of death as suicide by hanging while his mind was disturbed.

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