Nothing could have saved West Denton girl who collapsed

An inquest has heard how nothing could have been done to save Bobby-Jo Potts from West Denton who collapsed suddenly after complaining of a headache

The family of Bobby-Jo Potts from West Denton, who died after collapsing with an aneurysm aged 8
The family of Bobby-Jo Potts from West Denton, who died after collapsing with an aneurysm aged 8

Nothing could have been done to save an eight-year-old who collapsed suddenly at her grandparents’ home last November after complaining of a headache, an inquest has heard.

Bobby-Jo Potts, of West Denton in Newcastle, spent time living between her mother Julie Potts’ house at Hotch Pudding Place, and the home of her grandparents Pat and Billy Beattie, who had moved in around the corner.

On the day she collapsed, November 7 last year, Bobby-Jo had been collected from school by her father Stephen Kennedy and had said she wanted to stay at her grandparents’ house.

In the evening when she complained of a sore head and neck she was given pain relief but later started vomiting and collapsed on the sofa.

An ambulance was called and it arrived at hospital around 10.30pm, but on the way there, Bobby-Jo suffered a cardiac arrest and paramedics had to carry out a cardiac massage.

Dr Susan Jackson, the consultant on duty that night for paediatric intensive care at the RVI, said Bobby-Jo underwent a CT scan to discover the cause of the “catastrophic collapse” which revealed a large collection of blood on the brain.

She told the inquest it became apparent “we were not going to be able to help Bobby-Jo”.

She died a matter of hours after her collapse, in the early hours of November 8 surrounded by her family.

Dr Jackson added: “This is not a common thing that happens to children, it is more common in adults but it is a well-recognised phenomenon.”

Coroner Karen Dilks recorded a natural causes conclusion for Bobby-Jo’s death.

Doctors told how Bobby-Jo had likely been born with the malformation which triggered the large bleed on her brain causing her death.

The inquest heard that the bleed was so large, it is believed nothing could have been done to save Bobby-Jo, who had been a fit and healthy child before her death.

Dr Daniell Hurrell, a paediatric pathologist based at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, told the inquest: “I think in the severity of Bobby-Jo’s case, I would think it would be very unlikely to expect survival.” He added: “These things tend to be asymptomatic, there’s no reason why you would be suspicious.

“It is a ticking timebomb, it is waiting to happen at some point.”

Coroner Karen Dilks recorded that the cause of Bobby-Jo’s death was a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

After the inquest, Bobby-Jo’s grandfather Billy Beattie said: “I miss her when I come home from work. She was always there for a cuddle.

“The two houses are just dead without her. She was our princess, it does not get any easier.”


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