Sophia: Struck down by Sudden Death at 19

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A HALIFAX student who died of a heart condition was resuscitated after a similar health scare six months earlier, an inquest heard.

Sophia Forrester, 19, originally from Skircoat Moor Road, Savile Park, a first-year French student at Leeds Metropolitan University, was found dead in her bed in May this year at her shared accommodation.

An inquest at Leeds Coroner’s Court yesterday heard she was in “peaceful repose” when discovered by a security officer.

The court also heard that in December last year the otherwise healthy teenager had to be given CPR by Susan Whiting, mother of her boyfriend David, while staying at their home near Halifax.

But she hadn’t told her own family about the incident and the doctors who treated her - bound by strict patient confidentiality - could not tell her next of kin.

The court was told medics at Calderdale Royal Hospital had put the episode down to a dangerously low level of potassium in her blood and sent her home the next day.

Her ECG tests came back clear, and her problems were attributed to a sleep breathing disorder.

The court was told that Sophia’s father Tim planned to have her ECG examinations re-evaluated.

An emotional Mr Forrester asked Dr Andrew Hardy, who examined Sophia after the first episode in December: “She was as good as dead at her boyfriend’s house. Since her potassium level was so low why was no test done?

Dr Hardy said: “The features to me sounded more like a sleep-related breathing problem. Obviously in retrospect it does seem that she had a cardiac cause.”

Coroner David Hinchliff said the cause of death was Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) He recorded a verdict of death by natural causes but recommended the hospital make “further exploration”.

In May Natasha Forrester paid tribute to her sister Sophia saying they had been very close, how Sophia had been a “very happy person, very smiley”.

Sophia went to North Halifax Grammar School and The Gleddings in Skircoat. She studied French, Spanish and Business at Greenhead College, Huddersfield, and went on to study languages at university, excelling in Spanish.