THE family of a teenage girl who collapsed and died in the shower at home have been advised to undergo genetic screening to see if they might also be at risk.
A medical expert compared the case of 15-year-old Amy Kirkby to that of professional footballer Fabrice Muamba who nearly died during a Premier League match last season but was brought back to life.
The difference was Mr Muamba received immediate attention from a cardiologist in the crowd, whereas Amy was alone in the bathroom for an unknown length of time, possibly an hour, before she was discovered by her mum Joanne.
Hundreds turned out for talented artist Amy’s funeral last year at Sprotbrough Parish Church.
The pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination on the Ridgewood School pupil told the Doncaster inquest the cause of death could not be determined because there was no sign of disease or infection. Police ruled out foul play and Amy did not drink or smoke.
Dr Mudher Al-Adnani, from Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said brief spells of dizziness and a bout of vomiting in the days leading up to her death last September may have been signs of an underlying problem. He said the most likely cause of death was a problem with electrical conduction in the heart which would cause it to stop beating.
The doctor advised Amy’s parents, Simon and Joanne Kirkby, and her 10-year-old sister, Lucy, to undergo genetic tests to detect any sign of heart abnormality.
Amy had been talking on the phone to family friends at 2.50pm on the day she died, but when Mrs Kirby returned home to Brompton Road, Sprotbrough, Doncaster, at 4pm she had collapsed. Mrs Kirkby lifted her daughter out of the bath and screamed for help. Lucy rang for an ambulance while a neighbour tried CPR. Paramedics took over but Amy could not be revived.
Doncaster Coroner Nicola Mundy, recording a verdict of death by natural causes, said Amy had seemed fine on the day she died.