Farm hand died of adult cot death

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.


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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.

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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".

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