The 21-year-old was found dead in his flat after working for three nights in a row. For the first time, Moritz Erhardt's parents talk about how they had feared for their son – and why the British government must prevent another such tragedy.
The Observer reports that as a baby, Moritz Erhardt was a bad sleeper.
His father, Hans-Georg, remembers the day of his son's birth, 3 October 1991, as one of the happiest moments of his life, but when he and his wife, Ulrike, took their newborn home, they found it hard to get him to settle. Like his father, Moritz suffered from neurodermatitis, a condition that left his skin covered with itchy sores.
"There were some really hard nights," recalls Hans-Georg. "One of the things I remember was that when I tried to get Moritz to sleep, he was able to go to sleep with one eye open. I would sit by the side of the bed and he would look at me with one eye open, almost to see if I was still there." Did Moritz still have this ability as an adult? Hans-Georg gives a quiet shudder of laughter. "I don't believe so."
Even as a young man, Moritz's sleep patterns continued to be a cause of some concern to his family. Bright and handsome, Moritz had a tendency to work hard and to party with equal energy throughout high school and his first years at university. He had several short-term flings with girls and a large circle of friends. His father, a psychoanalyst and life coach, warned him about burning the candle at both ends but, like many young people, Moritz took parental advice with a large pinch of salt.
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