Doncaster boy’s brave bid to save his mum

A Doncaster coroner has praised a six-year-old boy who helped raise the alarm when he awoke to find his mum unconscious on the sofa.

By Sarah Marshall
Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 9:35 am

An inquest into the death of 38-year-old Vicki Loughlin was told when her son Toby realised she was not moving or responding to his calls he rang family friend Sarah Favell to ask for her help.

“He rang me and said ‘I can’t wake mummy up’,” Mrs Favell told Doncaster coroners’ court.

She added: “I’ve got six children of my own and was getting them ready, and told him I would be round soon.

“Toby went outside and I think the neighbours heard him and I think he said that his mummy wasn’t very well so they called an ambulance.”

Emergency services arrived on the scene at Mrs Loughlin’s Edlington home shortly after, where she was pronounced dead by paramedics.

Assistant coroner Fred Curtis praised the quick-thinking efforts of the brave youngster.

He said: “It appears to me that her young son acted with great presence of mind.”

The court was told that in the weeks running up to Mrs Loughlin’s death on February 20 this year, she had felt unwell, and had been complaining of symptoms including headaches, nausea, neck pain and had also fainted on at least one occasion.

Mrs Loughlin, who had a family history of epilepsy, visited her GP and Doncaster Royal Infirmary on a number of occasions seeking treatment for her symptoms.

Medics carried out a number of diagnostic tests including blood work and MRI and CT scans but were unable to find anything wrong with the mum-of-one.

Mrs Loughlin was diagnosed with anorexia in 2011, and was thought to still be battling the condition up until the time of her death.

After a post-mortem examination into Mrs Loughlin’s death proved inconclusive, further tests were carried out to establish whether she may have suffered some sort of cardiac or neurological episode.

Cardiologist Dr Kim Suvarnah said although he could not detect any significant damage to her heart, he said there was a possibility she could have experienced a cardiac episode brought on by her ‘very low’ body mass index.

A statement from a neuropathologist said there was some mild swelling on Mrs Loughlin’s brain, and added that an epileptic seizure may have taken place but did not believe there was sufficient evidence to prove that she had suffered a sudden epileptic death.

Coroner Mr Curtis delivered a verdict of ‘narrative conclusion’.

He said he was ‘confident’ Mrs Loughlin had died from natural causes, but added there was not enough evidence to rule she had died from one specific cause.