Monday 23 April 2018

Inquest hears of mystery bruises on toddler who died from virus

Gareth Naughton

MYSTERY surrounds the cause of bruises on the back of a toddler who collapsed and died.

Four-year-old Isaac Nwarie died at Crumlin Children's Hospital on April 28, 2010, after a "flu-like illness".

Gardai investigated the death after unexplained bruising was found on his back, an inquest heard yesterday.

State pathologist Marie Cassidy was called in to carry out the post-mortem when the initial pathologist found the bruising.

She found that Isaac's death had been due to myocarditis -- an inflammation of the heart muscle related to an undiagnosed viral infection. This caused him to have the heart attack that led to his subsequent brain damage.

But Prof Cassidy said she also found "multiple linear bruises" on Isaac, who was from Cluan Ri in Ashbourne, Co Meath.

"The appearance of these suggest he had been struck several times with a long, narrow object. These were flesh wounds, very superficial injuries and such injuries would not normally be expected to cause or contribute to death. However, it is possible that such injuries inflicted on an ill child could precipitate collapse due to associated stress," she said.

The cause of the bruising on the child's back couldn't be found.

Isaac's mother Chikaodili Nwarie, a student nurse, told her son's inquest that on the morning of his collapse she had gone into the bedroom he shared with his sister and found him standing by the bed.

She told him to lie down while she attended to his sister. When she returned to the bedroom 20 minutes later, Isaac was lying in bed with foam coming from his mouth and he was unresponsive.

Ms Nwarie called out to her husband, Dr Ernest Nwarie, a psychiatrist, who immediately started CPR while she contacted emergency services.

Paramedics rushed Isaac to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown. Medics carried out resuscitation for an hour before a pulse was restored. He was transferred to the care of the cardiac team in Crumlin, where he died four days later.

'Flu-like'

Dr Nwarie told the court that his son had a "flu-like" illness in the weeks before his death.

Prof Cassidy stressed there had been no evidence to suggest the injuries had been sustained at the time of Isaac's collapse. She sought other expert advice on the bruising and nobody could provide an explanation, she said.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said he was aware the family had been very shocked on hearing about the bruising. Dr Nwarie said they did not know how the bruising had come about.

Dr Farrell described Isaac's sudden death as tragic and recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

Irish Independent

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