THE life of a 15-year-old boy changed forever when he developed a debilitating condition overnight, a Taunton inquest heard.

The hearing into the death of Andrew Prentice, 38, of Cory Road, Taunton, was told his life deteriorated after he was diagnosed with pancreatitis.

Initially Mr Prentice, who eventually had his entire pancreas removed, defied the pain and sat his exams, worked in a shop and got married.

But as his condition worsened, he lost his job, marriage and home.

A medical report said as well as chronic abdominal pain, he frequently vomited, became diabetic, suffered fits and collapses, overdosed, was depressed and self harmed.

It added: “He often felt his life wasn’t worth living.”

His mother, Brenda Prentice, who said her son’s early childhood was “perfectly normal”, told the court every effort was made to help him live independently.

But she said towards the end of his life he became confused and tired due to prescribed drugs, including morphine, which one specialist wanted to replace with methadone.

He was afraid of becoming homeless due to difficulties finding him a place with 24-hour care.

Mrs Prentice, who wrote a book about the affects of pancreatitis, said she did not believe he took his own life – she said: “He was looking forward to his brother’s wedding in two months.”

West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose recorded an open verdict, with the cause of death in July 2009 combined acute toxicity from amitriptyline and zopiclone - medicines he had been prescribed.

Mr Rose said: “From that sad, tragic day when he was 15, his life was to become more and more burdensome.”