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Tragic Harry died of rare condition

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 11, 2014

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THE sad death of a 17-month-old baby who died while staying with his grandparents has been put down to a condition simply known as sudden unexplained death in childhood.

Harry Pearson had been sleeping soundly after being put to bed by his parents, but when they went to check on him later, they found him collapsed in his cot.

A coroner ruled this week that, by a ‘process of exclusion’, Harry’s death had to be as a result of the tragic natural phenomenon.

South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh said: “This is a sad death. Harry was only 17 months old.

“Largely this is a diagnosis of exclusion and has a lot of factors. Putting all these together with all the exclusions I conclude that his death was caused by sudden unexplained death in childhood.”

Harry, of Yew Tree Road, Hatton, had been suffering from occasional convulsions for several months, but doctors put these down to a past infection.

However, Dr Philip Cox, who carried out a post-mortem examination, said these were consistent with cases of sudden unexplained death in childhood.

He told the inquest, at Burton Town Hall: “The examination showed nothing which could have led to his death, and all tests were normal. We didn’t find anything specific that would have explained his death.

“However, that is not unusual in babies who die at this age.

“Two or three babies a year will die in a similar fashion. They often have a history of convulsions.

“We don’t exactly know what happened. Most babies that have these convulsions don’t die.”

He added that the fact Harry was found on his front in the travel cot where he had been put to sleep also pointed towards this.

Mr Haigh said: “In many ways, I am pleased to be able to say it was a natural death, but I would like to convey my sincere sympathies on the circumstances.”

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