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No cause found for tragic teen's fatal heart attack

MYSTERY remains as to why a teenage boy had a massive heart attack and died the morning after attending a pre-debs party, the Dublin coroner has found.

Kaelem Hainsworth (17), from Blackrock, collapsed at a friend's home on November 18, 2012.

The inquest into his death heard that he spent the previous night at a pre-debs event organised for students of Oatlands College, Stillorgan, and Our Lady's Grove, Goatstown.

While walking to his friend's house after the event, Kaelem complained of pains in his chest and arm.

He went into cardiac arrest the following morning.

The pathologist gave the cause of death as a heart attack involving both chambers of the heart but said it was unclear why this happened.

There was no heart disease, no viral infection of the heart and no reason to suspect an inherited condition.

The court had heard that Kaelem drank two cans of beer on the bus to the venue. His friend Cambrian Grenier also told the inquest that he drank two more cans and a shot of vodka in the club.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell told the court that he discussed the case with the State laboratory and as well as testing Kaelem's blood for 100 known substances, they also carried out a test for unknown substances which came back negative.

 

ALCOHOL

The amount of alcohol Kaelem drank was not excessive, he said, and there was no evidence of drug use. He said he accepted the cause of death but he is unable to explain why it happened.

Dr Farrell returned a narrative verdict outlining the facts. He said that he hoped the family would find the strength to bear Kaelem's death but feared it would be very difficult. After the inquest, Kaelem's parents said that they had set up a tribute fund in Kaelem's name and urged people to support it by visiting tributefunds.materfoundation.ie.

Speaking outside the court, Caroline Garrett, principal of Oatlands College, said that principals are "at their wits end" concerning pre-debs events.

"Every principal in the country has concerns about these because we know that they are not properly policed. If they are going to take money and sell tickets to these young men, they need to take responsibility for what is happening to them."

She also paid tribute to Kaelem. "He was a beautiful boy and we loved him dearly."

hnews@herald.ie


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