Yorkshire boy, 13, died at his family home after epileptic fit, inquest finds

A Yorkshire boy who died at his family home earlier this year passed away as a result of an epileptic seizure, an inquest has found.

The inquest, held on December 7, heard how 13-year-old Alfie Hague was found unresponsive on his bedroom floor, with his chin resting on a bedside cabinet, by his brother Jack at around midday on January 10, 2021.

He had spent the previous night playing video games until the early hours of the morning.

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Senior coroner David Urpeth heard that Jack alerted his parents Michelle and Matthew to his brother’s position and they performed CPR on Alfie until an ambulance arrived at the house in Hackenthorpe.

Alfie Hague

Paramedics then continued CPR, but Alfie was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

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The inquest heard from paediatric consultant Dr Catherine Rimmer that Alfie had also attended A&E at Sheffield Children’s 12 days prior, on December 29, 2020, after he’d had a seizure.

Dr Rimmer said that examinations determined that Alfie was tall and heavy for his age and that, following the first fit, he had high blood pressure, so they booked him in for further investigations.

Alfie and his mother, Michelle

He was not diagnosed with epilepsy at that point, and Dr Rimmer confirmed to Mr Urpeth that it is common for children to have one-off seizures, so epilepsy is only diagnosed following recurring fits.

She added that Alfie was feeling well when he was sent home from hospital, and that he was booked in for another appointment for January 13, 2021.

On the day before he was found by his brother, Alfie had also not reported feeling unwell to his family.

However, a post-mortem examination carried out by Professor Marta Cohen found that it was ‘probable’ that Alfie had another seizure on January 10 which caused his death.

Prof Cohen told the inquest: “He’d had a seizure before and was under investigation and was found in a position that was in keeping with another seizure.”

Prof Cohen also said that she had found an ‘abnormality’ in an area of Alfie’s brain that was frequently found in children who had died suddenly and had a history of epilepsy.

Mr Urpeth found that Alfie Hague died of natural causes, and his cause of death was ‘sudden unexpected death in epilepsy’.

He added: “Alfie’s sudden death at such a young age is a tragedy not only for him but for those he leaves behind.”

Alfie’s mother Michelle previously said Alfie eas ‘cheerful’ and ‘loving’.

She said: “He had a lot of friends and nobody had a bad word to say about him. He spent a lot of time on his PC, playing the usual games like Fortnite, and he wanted to be a YouTuber when he grew up.”

Following Alfie’s death friends and strangers alike paid their respects, and there was a campaign from Sheffield Wednesday fans – Alfie’s dad’s team – to ‘turn Twitter blue’ as a tribute to the youngster.

Michelle added: "We’re devastated by his death but the support we’ve had has been amazing and I’d like to thank everybody who’s pulled together in Alfie’s memory.

"It’s meant so much to us and really helped us through this. It’s brought me to tears but in a good way.”