Amy’s heart stopped ‘like star footballer’

Amy Louise Kirkby, whose funeral was held on September 15, 2011.
Amy Louise Kirkby, whose funeral was held on September 15, 2011.

THE family of a teenager who collapsed and died in the shower have been told to be tested for a potential genetic heart defect that could have claimed her life.

A coroner asked the parents and 10-year-old sister of Amy Kirkby to have the health check after hearing how the 15-year-old had the same defect as footballer Fabrice Muamba whose heart stopped on the pitch earlier this year.

But Dr Mudher Al-Adnani from Sheffield Children’s Hospital, who carried out a post mortem examination, said she was not as lucky as the footballer, because who was treated immediately. Amy may not have been treated for up to an hour, the court heard.

He said: “This is known as sudden adult death and in the majority of cases where the heart stops suddenly they are not fortunate to have paramedics and doctors on the scene.”

Coroner Nicola Mundy told parents Joanne and Simon and the couple’s other daughter Lucy to undergo testing, but warned the screening could not always highlight the problem.

Amy, of Brompton Road, Sprotbrough, collapsed in the shower at home on September 2, and despite the best efforts of her mother, a neighbour, paramedics and hospital staff to resuscitate her, was pronounced dead later that day.

The only sign something may have been wrong with the popular Ridgewood School pupil was several days earlier when she had complained of dizziness, but a doctor ruled this may have been completely unconnected to her heart having a potential electrical problem.

Members of Amy’s family sobbed as details of her death were read out and left the room as detailed medical information was put before coroner.

The inquest heard Amy had left a note for sister Lucy who was due home from school to let her know she was in the shower and signed it off with a smiley face.

Amy, was described as a good student who had a large group of friends and would happily help anyone.

The coroner rules Amy died of natural causes.