Sheffield schoolgirl died from heart problem

Talented: Alex Reid, 16, found dead after a day out shopping.
Talented: Alex Reid, 16, found dead after a day out shopping.
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THE death of a talented Sheffield schoolgirl has been put down to natural causes after an inquest into the tragedy.

Alex Reid, aged 16, who was a high-flying student at Sheffield High School, died after a day out shopping with her mum for a dress and jewellery for her school prom.

The super-fit youngster was discovered dead by her GP father John who was unable to revive his daughter.

An inquest into her death revealed she died of undiagnosed congenital heart disease.

In a statement read out at the inquest, Alex’s father John, 52, said his daughter was due to take her last GCSE exam the day she was found dead.

Her results, released two months after her death, showed she had attained six A stars and four As.

The inquest heard Alex had complained of feeling tired in the days before she died, and had been suffering from indigestion, but her parents had put it down to the stress of sitting the exams and her over-fondness for sweets.

She had also gone to see her own GP because her boyfriend of 18 months had been diagnosed with glandular fever, but Alex did not have it.

Dr Reid and his wife Heather, 51, battled to revive their daughter in a bedroom of their family home in Common Road, Thorpe Salvin, near Worksop, while waiting for paramedics to arrive, but she was declared dead at the scene.

Her father said: “Earlier in the week she had been her usual bright vivacious self and had been to watch her sister in the Olympic torch celebrations in Sheffield.

“She was extremely popular with her peers at Sheffield High School and was a high achiever. She did not appear to have any problems and had a positive attitude and wanted to go to Newcastle University to study medicine.”

The pretty part-time model had just begun a work placement in a local hospital’s orthopaedics department.

She was one of the fittest girls at her school and formerly swam for the City of Sheffield Swimming Club and played netball at county level.

The Rotherham inquest was told she had suffered in the past with heartburn, and her lips turning blue in cold weather, but ECG and cardiogram tests at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital in 2008 did not uncover any problems.

Pathologist Dr Marta Cohen said ‘there was nothing to explain her death’ - but she did find Alex’s right coronary artery was in an abnormal position and higher than it should have been.

Assistant deputy coroner Mark Beresford said: “She was an intelligent, active and popular girl who enjoyed a wonderful family life and generally good health.”

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, the coroner said: “It’s a situation no parent should ever have to face.”

In a tribute to the youngster, Sheffield High School headteacher Valerie Dunsford said: “She was a lovely girl, always smiling, who excelled at drama and sport and was well-known and liked by all who knew her.

“She was full of promise for a bright future.”