A fit and healthy 17-year-old passed away after he suddenly collapsed while making tea for his relatives.
Army cadet Ben Littlewood did not smoke or drink but he died of a stroke. It is believed that turning his head too quickly caused an artery to tear and sent blood clot to his brain.
It was the teen’s mother who discovered him experiencing a fatal seizure in the kitchen when he didn’t answer any of her calls. Sadly, he passed away in the hospital 8 days later.
Because of his young age, medics did not realize right away that Ben had already suffered a stroke until 4 days later after he was admitted to the ICU.
A doctor who performed a brain scan said it was his first time to see such a case in his more than a decade of treating people.
Dr. Christopher Douglass from Salford Royal Hospital said: “In young people who had a stroke, it’s a blood clot which is most common. In young people, the most common cause is a blood clot consign from a tear or blockage.
“The vein can be damaged by posture – people who have been painting just tipping their head back, or one case just a person reversing down a lane and just turning the head can do this.
“Same as twisting may have caused the tear in the artery and there is no other reason unfortunately. It is quite common when we investigate strokes – in one in five cases we don’t find a cause and it’s potentially impossible to know.”
The teen’s mother, Vicky Brocklehurst, said her son had the ‘biggest heart.’
Coroner Chris Morris said: “Ben was a much-loved son, grandson, brother and nephew, and a delightful and good-natured young man.
“At the beginning of a very talented creative life he was doing very well at college and someone who had everything to live for.
“I accept Doctor Douglass’s evidence that [he] cannot be really totally sure of the likely cause in Ben’s case. It’s likely to be associated with sudden or extreme movement of the neck causing dissection of the relevant artery.
“By the time this Ischaemic stroke was finally diagnosed, there was no realistic treatment option and he tragically passed away. I am very sorry to hear of the sudden and dramatic way Ben has been taken from your family.”
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