Flintshire man died after suffering fit

Reporter:

Lois Hough

A BUDDING young photographer died after he suffered an epileptic fit at his home.

The body of David Griffiths, 24, was discovered in his Green Grove flat in Shotton two days after he was last seen by family, an inquest heard yesterday.

Mr Griffiths was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 14. He had an operation to remove a brain tumour in 2006 and a further procedure to remove a cyst.

He would often drink to cope with depression, the hearing at Flint Magistrates’ Court was told.

His mother, Christine, said: “His school teachers described it as ‘the lights were on but nobody was home’.

“We knew something was wrong because his pallor would change and he would have strange mood swings.

“He would have around 70 seizures a week. The medication worked for a few weeks then the seizures started again.”

North East Wales coroner John Hughes was told that in 2006 doctors discovered Mr Griffiths had a brain tumour which could have been there since birth.

“He was absolutely petrified about his upcoming operation and he started to drink alcohol,” said Mrs Griffiths.

“The first six weeks after the operation were absolutely super. He had no seizures and his confidence came back and his old self.

“But after a death in the family he didn’t want to take his medication. His seizures got worse as his drinking and smoking increased. He wanted to be a professional photographer but he lost all his motivation and his confidence.”

Mr Griffiths took an overdose in 2009 but seemed to make a good recovery. He was found slumped in the bathroom of his flat on March 21.

He leaves his parents Michael and Christine, sisters Sarah-Jane, 30, Clare-Ann, 29, Elizabeth, 25 and Christine, 22.

His mother said: “He was happy and content in the days leading up to his death.

He bought himself three goldfish and talked about decorating his flat.

“He would have loved a girlfriend. His four sisters have all got children and he doted on his nieces and nephews.”

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Griffiths had no drugs or alcohol in his system but there was a tumour on his brain.

The cause of death was noted as Sudden Unexplained Death In Epilepsy (SUDEP) as a result of a residual tumour.

Mr Hughes told the family: “I want to tell how you desperately sad I was to hear of your son’s death.

“You may think if he wasn’t in the flat then we could have done something about it but if he is going to have a SUDEP, he will have it wherever he is.

“Nobody knew that tumour was there.”

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