Young Pegswood mum died from a rare condition SADS

A YOUNG mother and teacher from Northumberland died from a condition which claims just 500 lives a year, an inquest has heard.

A YOUNG mother and teacher from Northumberland died from a condition which claims just 500 lives a year, an inquest has heard.

Sian Turnbull, who taught at a first school in Morpeth and had three children, died from the rare Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) at the age of just 33 last September.

Ashington-born Miss Turnbull lived with partner James Newcombe at Castleway in Pegswood and was mother to Lyle, Maisie and Polly.

She worked as a teacher at Abbeyfields First School in Morpeth and enjoyed hillwalking with her partner.

North Northumberland coroner Tony Brown, sitting at Wansbeck Business Park at Ashington, heard how Miss Turnbulll had collapsed at home while tidying one of her daughters’ bedrooms on September 23. The inquest, attended by Mr Newcombe and Miss Turnbull’s parents and sister, was told she was found “without any signs of life” and that attempts at resuscitation failed.

The coroner heard Miss Turnbull had suffered from occasional headaches for which she took medication but that she had no other health concerns and that her family had a history of long life.

Pathologist Dr Robert Stirling subsequently carried out a post mortem which showed no obvious cause of death, and no signs of alcohol or drugs in Miss Turnbull’s system.

He arranged for further tests to be done by Mary Sheppard, a consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital, a renowned cardio and lung specialist centre in London.

Dr Sheppard found no heart defect and informed Dr Stirling that she believed the woman had been a victim of SADS.

Dr Stirling told the inquest that the condition predominantly hits young men and that it leads to just 500 cases a year. He said: “It is an uncommon condition which is one that is becoming probably more recognised now.”

Dr Stirling said there would have been no warning signs and that the death had “come out of the blue” and been “very tragic for the family.”

Mr Brown recorded a verdict of natural causes, given the lack of any other factors which could have caused the death.

“It is, of course, unsatisfactory for the family that despite a specialist report, it has not been possible to identify a cause other than this syndrome which has become a recognised syndrome nowadays.

“There are in the region of 500 deaths per year in which this sudden death occurs.

“Whatever this syndrome really is, it is a naturally occurring process that has caused Sian’s death.

“I offer my most sincere condolences to Mr Newcombe and Mr and Mrs Turnbull on the very sad death of Sian at the age of only 33.”


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