'Undetected condition' may have caused disabled Cobham teenager's death - coroner (From This Is Local London)
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'Undetected condition' may have caused disabled Cobham teenager's death - coroner
A disabled teenage boy most likely died as a result of a complication of his genetic condition and disruption of fluid found in the brain, an inquest has heard.
George Lindon-Travers, 14, of Byfleet Road, died during a stay at respite centre Treetops at White Lodge House, Chertsey, on August 11, 2013, after he collapsed unexpectedly and never regained consciousness.
At the age of 10 months, George was found to have severe mental developmental problems and had diagnosed rare genetic disorder Phelan-McDermid syndrome, which affects 500 people worldwide.
George also suffered from a digestion problem and for the last few years of his life and had lymphoedema in his leg which caused it swell to three times its normal size.
At the inquest, at Woking Coroner’s Court on Friday, January 24, Daniel Gibson, support worker at White Lodge, said George had been his usual self on the day he died.
He said: “He was in his usual happy mood.
“I was changing a child and then I heard him collapse behind me, I heard a thump. I thought he had just fallen over but there was blood coming out of his mouth.”
George died at the scene 26 minutes after the ambulance arrived.
A suction tube was inserted into George’s mouth to drain the blood and paramedics pulled out a glove, which George is believed to have swallowed, but the consultant forensic pathologist’s report said choking as a cause of death was “very unlikely”.
In his report, Dr Robert Chapman said there was no evidence of injury to cause or contribute to George’s death and noted the formal neuropathological examination revealed hydrocephalus, a condition which disrupts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and can lead to sudden death.
Dr Chapman said: “I regard it as most likely that his death had resulted from some complication of his underlying genetic condition and the presence of hydrocephalus.”
George’s father, James Lindon-Travers, said: “Having seen the doctor’s report, I didn’t really understand a word of it so I saw my GP and he explained what a colloid cyst is.
“If he had had a brain scan, it could have gone undetected anyway.”
Coroner Karen Henderson said due to the presence of the glove, more information would be required from paramedics attending the scene and the pathologist.
She said: “It is clear to me that there are other issues that require further enquiries before I conclude this inquest.
“It would be unjust to close an inquiry that has further evidence that can be sought.”
The inquest was adjourned to allow the pathologist and other paramedics to attend and give evidence.