December 9 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
A fit and healthy young man from south London died following a ‘catastrophic and unsurvivable’ collapse as he ran a marathon, an inquest has heard.
Sam Harper Brighouse, 23, of Forest Hill, fell ill around 16 miles into the race in Brighton on April 14 this year.
The biology graduate had embarked on the 26-mile running challenge to raise money for the Arms Around The Child charity which supports Aids orphans.
Although he had asthma, he was considered fit and his respiratory problems had not contributed to his sudden collapse, an inquest at Brighton County Court heard.
Instead, Mr Harper Brighouse died after suffering from ischemic bowel disease, which can cause up to 75 per cent of blood flow to be removed from the bowel.
Dr Mark Taylor, consultant pathologist at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital, said the condition is initially reversible but can progress, leading to fatal circumstances.
He told the hearing: “We know that up to half of people who run marathons develop symptoms relating to their gastro-intestines.
“They can be minor stomach cramps, diahorrea, but on the other end of the scale, ischemic bowel can be exhibited in endurance exercise.
“When it gets to that critical stage, depending on how much of the bowel has died, depends on whether the person can survive.
“Unfortunately in Sam, it was catastrophic and unsurvivable.”
It was initially thought that Mr Harper Brighouse had suffered a heart attack as he competed in the Brighton Marathon, and attempts were made at CPR as he laid in the road.
But Mr Harper Brighouse went into cardiac arrest and his death from ischemic bowel, described by Brighton and Hove coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley as ‘extraordinarily rare and unusual’, was confirmed at 2.30pm.
Mr Harper Brighouse probably did not notice he had ischemic bowel as its ‘non-specific’ symptoms, such as pain and discomfort, may have led him to believe they were linked to his running.
Andrew Parker from the South East Coast Ambulance Service said by the time the medical team got to him: “He had no heartbeat, no pulse and no breathing.
“From the small amount of history at the event, it was a sudden collapse. I don’t think he would have known anything about it.”
The inquest is due to last until Friday.