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Farm hand died of adult cot death

PUBLISHED: 14:00 31 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:33 03 March 2010

A FIT 30-year-old Suffolk farm hand probably died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome - the grown up version of cot death, an inquest heard.

The freak fatality claims up to eight adults a week in the UK and often strikes sporty men and women.

BY GEORGINA WROE

georgina.wroe@eveningstar.co.uk

A FIT 30-year-old Suffolk farm hand probably died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome – the grown up version of cot death, an inquest heard.

The freak fatality claims up to eight adults a week in the UK and often strikes sporty men and women.

An inquest at Ipswich Crown Court heard that Rendlesham father of three Mark Brightwell, was discovered face down in his bed by his lodger on July 9 when colleagues called at his home after he failed to show up for work.

Police and an ambulance were called to his Redwald Road home but Mr Brightwell, a light smoker and moderate drinker, had died.

There was no note found at the scene or evidence of drug taking and Mr Brightwell had never mentioned taking his own life.

A subsequent post mortem failed to identify a reason for death.

Mr Brightwell who separated from his wife, Nina, on New Year's Eve last year had recently gone back to playing football for "social" reasons.

She called him: "A quiet man

who didn't suffer from serious illness."

Mr Brightwell regularly ran with a childhood friend who, in a statement read out at the inquest, said: "Mark had been getting back to his old self. He never complained of feeling ill. I couldn't believe when I heard he had died."

Today a coroner recorded an open verdict when an inquest failed to identify the exact reasons for his death.

Pathologist Dr Julian Orrell, discounted a cut on Mr Brightwell's inner thigh – the result of a fall from a quad bike, as a lingering reason for his death.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean said the death was the result of a "catastrophic" disturbance to his heart rhythm.

He said: "Because we have not been able to ascertain with absolute certainly the cause of death – even though in all probability it is Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, I am going to record an open verdict."

He explained to Mr Brightwell's family that diagnosing heart disturbance after death was like "examining wiring when the electricity is turned off".

Weblinks

www.sadsuk.org

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