Copyright 2003 Newcastle Chronicle & Journal Ltd

July 23, 2003, Wednesday Edition 1


LENGTH: 433 words

HEADLINE: We might never know how our son died

BYLINE: By The Evening Chronicle


   Doctors have failed to find an explanation for the sudden death of an apparently-healthy teenager who collapsed at home.

   Lee Frizzle, 16, of Cowpen Estate, Blyth, collapsed when he popped home from school during his lunch break on April 28.

   Paramedics tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead on arrival at Wansbeck General Hospital.

   A post-mortem was conducted and extensive tests were carried out.

   But almost three months later, investigators are still baffled by Lee's death and it is believed the teenager is a victim of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

   The body has been released by the coroner's office and his funeral will be held tomorrow at 1.15pm at Cowpen cemetery. Today Lee's mum and dad spoke of their shock at his death.

   His mum, June, said: "He was a nice, quiet lad who was helpful to anybody. He wouldn't harm anybody. He came in from school at lunchtime and he went upstairs to play on his computer.

   "He was up there for a couple of minutes and I heard a thud on the floor. When I went upstairs, he was lying on the floor.

   "To be quite honest, I think he died in the bedroom. They applied resuscitation but it was just flat."

   Lee, a pupil at Blyth Community College, loved computers and his parents say he was a lad with no bad habits who enjoyed visiting friends' houses and was invariably in bed by 10pm. His dad, Alan, 46, said: "I am just gutted. All he lived for was his computer.

   "He was taking GCSEs and doing quite well. He was expecting to get GCSEs and I was pleased with him. He liked German but he didn't like maths.

   "He liked watching videos and DVDs and was always in at 10 o'clock at night and up for school no bother."

   A spokesman for the south east Northumberland coroner's office said: "Nothing has been found up to now to indicate cause of death."

   Lee leaves his mum and dad and sister Lesley, a 12-year-old pupil at Bebside Middle School, Blyth.

   Pupils from Blyth Community College will attend his funeral tomorrow.

   An inquest was opened and adjourned.

   Unexplained killer

   One in 20 cases of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome in people under 65 are unexplained with no heart abnormalities found.

   But researchers believe that many people who have died suddenly may have inherited an undiagnosed tendency to an abnormal heart rhythm.

   One cause of sudden death may be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy [HCM] which affects one in 500 people.

   HCM is the biggest single cause of sudden death in under 25s.

   Symptoms include breathlessness, often confused with asthma, fainting, heart rhythm abnormalities, chest pains and dizziness.


LOAD-DATE: July 23, 2003