Fatal gene led to Bwlchgwyn boy's death in bed


Rory Sheehan

A SCHOOLBOY who was found dead in his bed had a little known genetic condition, a coroner has decided.

An inquest took place yesterday into the sudden and unexpected death 12 months ago of 12-year-old Evan William Williams of King George Court, Bwlchgwyn, near Wrexham.

North Wales coroner John Gittins concluded Evan, a pupil of the town’s Ysgol Clywedog, had a respiratory chain defect, “a process by which cells do not produce appropriate levels of energy to allow the heart, lungs and body to work properly”.

The coroner admitted he knew little about the condition.

Evan’s father Peter Williams told the Wrexham inquest that even scientists were still unable to tell him much about it.

The inquest heard Evan was a normal healthy boy who had no medical history of any note.

He had an MMR booster on May 31, 2013.

He was in bed chatting to his mum at 11pm on Saturday, June 22 and said goodnight.

The following morning his parents’ alarm went off at 7.15am and his mother went to wake him and open the curtains.

She received no response and found Evan in bed, cold and unresponsive and called for an ambulance.

Evan’s father gave him CPR but when the paramedics arrived, they were unable to find any signs of life.

Evan was taken to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital. His pupils were fixed and dilated and there was no pulse or cardiac output.

He was given adrenalin but there was no evidence of bleeding or fitting and CPR was terminated at 8.15am.

Mr Gittins concluded Evan’s death was from natural causes as a result of a “mitochondrial respiratory chain defect”.

He said: “Nothing more could have been done. He was a fit and healthy young man.”

Mr Gittins said Evan did not die of an infection but because of the physical make up of his body.

The coroner told the family: “It is impossible to take positive outcomes from these circumstances but there is some comfort in that efforts are being made to learn more about it.

“Hopefully there will be a greater understanding of the condition in the future.”

Peter Williams paid tribute to the support the family had since received from those researching the condition.

He said: “It has been very traumatic and everyone we have dealt with has been outstanding.

“The sympathy we have received has been outstanding.”

Mr Williams said at the time of his son's death: “It is an obvious thing to say but we are very proud of him and he’s desperately missed.

"He was a perfectly normal active 12-year-old full of adventure. He like climbing trees and doing things he ought not to do.

“He rode his bike a lot and went swimming. He was full of life and a very lovable young man.

“He brought a smile to people’s faces and found humour in everything.”

Mr Williams added: “He went happily to school every day and we never had any issues with him.

“He was always willing to help people.

“An example is that a Greek family came to live in the village and a boy was being taunted because he could not speak English and Ev stepped in and stopped it.

“It was typical of him. He was one of those lads who liked being around people.”

See full story in the Leader

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