An “incredibly talented” man who was the “life and soul of the party” was found hanged close to London Bridge following a Valentine’s Day night out.
Ryan Crow, 24, fell into the River Thames as a member of the public tried to assist him in the early hours of February 14 last year.
An inquest into his death at Inner South London Coroner’s Court on Monday (September 6) heard how he had arranged to meet work colleagues for breakfast the following day, but instead took his own life and was pronounced dead shortly after being rushed to St Thomas’ Hospital.
READ MORE:Dad-of-3 university lecturer died after jumping in front of train at New Cross Gate station
The inquest heard that Ryan was taken into care at the age of five as his parents were “unable to care for him”.
After failed adoptions, he spent his childhood at a care home in Essex, where he developed a close relationship with his support worker and remained in contact with his younger sister.
When the home closed down, Ryan became a lodger at the support worker’s home and completed a BTEC at college. He subsequently went on to study criminology and psychology at the University of Sussex before beginning a career in recruitment.
The court heard that, despite his difficult start to life, Ryan “had a large group of friends and was successful in his recruitment career”.
He also regularly ran cross-country and completed the London Marathon in 2018.
However, the inquest heard he began using cocaine in the months prior to his death and would become “despondent and suicidal” when coming down from drug-fuelled highs.
The drug use led to the break-up from his long-term partner at the beginning of 2020 and, shortly after, he moved into a house share with strangers.
Having moved into the house, though, Ryan had “no one to speak to or confide in” and found it difficult.
The cost of his drug habit was also causing him to build an increasing debt that rose to thousands of pounds, the inquest heard.
While his friends worried about him, Ryan “continued to do well”. The inquest heard that he had been “excelling” in his job as a recruitment consultant and had been looking into applying for similar roles in the United States.
However, the inquest heard he had a consultation at Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust in August 2019, six months prior to his death, in which he said he felt his childhood experience was beginning to affect him.
Ryan was on a night out with friends on Valentine’s Day when, having told others he had gotten home safely, he was “spotted by chance” by a member of the public hanging over the River Thames at 3.40am.
The person attempted to help Ryan down, but instead he fell into the river in the struggle.
MyLondon’s brilliant new newsletter The 12 is packed with news, views, features and opinion from across the city.
Every day we’ll send you a free email at around 12pm with 12 stories to keep you entertained, informed and uplifted. It’s the perfect lunchtime read.
The MyLondon team tells London stories for Londoners. Our 45 journalists cover all the news you need – from City Hall to your local streets.
Never miss a moment by signing up to The 12 newsletter here.
London Ambulance Service paramedics rushed to the scene and, after difficulty removing him from the water, he went into cardiorespiratory arrest.
Resuscitation attempts were made at the scene and as he was transported to St Thomas’ Hospital, but sadly Ryan was pronounced dead at 5.20am.
A cause of death was given as compression of the neck, drowning and alcohol and drug toxicity.
Assistant Coroner Ms Shanta Deonarine returned a verdict that Ryan took his own life with an act of suicide.
She passed her condolences to Ryan’s family and friends in attendance via video link before closing the hearing.
You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re struggling with your mental health.
Here are some groups you can contact when you need help.
Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email [email protected], in confidence.
Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won’t show up on your bill.
PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141.
Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. No helpline but offers useful resources and links to other information.
Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Find out more here.
Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Find out more here.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. There’s a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58.
In the days after his death, friends and colleagues of Ryan gave heartfelt tributes in his memory.
A JustGiving page created to assist with the costs of his funeral last year was inundated with well-wishers who described him as “incredibly talented” and “much-loved by all”.
His sister, Violet, said: “Ryan was the most supportive and caring brother. He was my biggest inspiration in life, and will continue to be. I will love and miss him forever.”
Another tribute read: “So shocked and saddened. We lived with you for a year. You were a great friend, always made other laugh and always put a smile on our faces. You will be missed.”
If you knew Ryan and would like to contribute to a tribute article in his memory, please contact [email protected]