Wednesday 25 April 2018

Sudden death of volunteer worker James is recalled

THE TRAGIC death of a 30-year-old man in Gorey from a heart attack was recalled at an inquest held in New Ross on Thursday. James Saunders, of 26 McCurtain Street, Gorey, died on June 16 last from a heart attack having had a viral heart infection called myocarditis.

Garda Michael Dee said he was called to 26 McCurtain Street on June 20 last, where Mr Saunders' remains were found at his home. Garda Dee said Mr Saunders was last seen on June 15 by Detective Garda Joe Sullivan helping out with a Tidy Towns clean up in Gorey. He said Mr Saunders was pronounced dead at 12:27 pm by Dr Rob Williams.

Pathologist Dr Maurice Murphy said he carried out a post mortem on the deceased at Waterford Regional Hospital on June 21. He said the cause of death was a heart attack, adding that Mr Saunders had consumed an amount of alcohol.

County Wexford Coroner Dr Sean Nixon said Mr Saunders may have had a viral infection in his heart which led to the cardiac arrest. 'He had a reasonably high level of alcohol in his system but that on its own would not have caused death. The fact that he was overweight mightn't have helped.' He recommended a verdict of natural death which the jury agreed with.

Dr Nixon said Mr Saunders probably died a number of days before he was found and the family agreed on June 16 as the date he died. Dr Nixon offered his sympathies to the family on the loss of Mr Saunders at such a young age.

A family member asked how he could have died so suddenly and Dr Nixon said there was nothing to suggest that he was unwell. 'It was a viral infection which affected his heart. That can happen sometimes in young people who are otherwise healthy.'

Both Dr Nixon and Inspector Derek Hughes expressed their sympathy to the Saunders family on their loss.

Gorey Guardian