Mum rolled out of bed and died - but death can’t be explained by autopsy

editorial image
Have your say

DOCTORS are baffled by the sudden death of a teacher who rolled out of bed and stopped breathing.

The husband of Luisa Paola Colman tried to revive her before paramedics arrived at their Balby home but there were no signs of life.

A post-mortem examination and other tests on the 53-year-old nursery teacher have failed to establish why she died.

Pathologist Suzanne Rogers told a Doncaster inquest it was one of the rare cases each year which she has to record as ‘unascertained’.

Mrs Colman was on medication for ailments including an underactive thyroid and high blood pressure before her death on Bonfire Night last year, but nothing to cause her sudden death.

She had gone to bed early because of tiredness and when her husband, Gary, also a teacher, went up she was asleep.

Around 12.30am he became concerned because her breathing sounded unusual. He gave her a tap and she rolled off the bed and onto the floor.

She ended up in an unusual position with her neck creaking against a cabinet but Mr Colman quickly put her into a more normal position and Dr Rogers said that had no bearing on her death.

Police officers called to the house in Grenville Road said there were no signs of violence or any suspicious circumstances.

The autopsy carried out by Dr Rogers showed no evidence of heart disease or arterial bloodclots.

She investigated the possibility that Mrs Colman had suffered sleep apnoea which might have constricted her breathing tubes and deprived her of oxygen but that was seen as “not a likely explanation”.

Dr Rogers said Mrs Colman’s thyroid problem and hypertension would not normally lead to death.

“I carry out hundreds of post-mortems a year and there are only a few cases where I can’t find a cause of death and this is one of them,” she said. “The most likely explanation is there was some disturbance of the rhythm of the heart but it is not something I am able to see under a microscope or in tests.”

Recording a verdict of natural causes, Deputy Coroner Fred Curtis said there was no obvious reason why Mrs Colman should have passed away.

He told Mr Colman and the couple’s daughter: “This was a very sudden and totally unexpected death and must have come as a dreadful shock.”