A talented 21-year-old cricketer who was studying at Leeds Metropolitan University suffered sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, an inquest heard.
Fit and active Thomas Hardman was in the final year of a sports and exercise science course at the university when he died last November.
Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard Mr Hardman had played cricket in Australia and India and had been appointed as the captain of the Leeds/Bradford Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) University team for the 2013 season. Mr Hardman, from Rochdale, was found dead on his bed at the house he shared with fellow students on Ash Road, Headingley, on the afternoon of November 28 2012 after he failed to turn up for cricket practice.
Dr Lisa Barker, consultant histopathologist at St James’ Hospital, Leeds, performed a post mortem examination on Mr Hardman and initially recorded the cause of death as unascertained.
Dr Barker believed Mr Hardman had been a victim of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome and consulted Dr Mary Sheppard, a specialist in cardiac pathology, for a second opinion.
Coroner David Hinchliff asked Dr Sheppard: “The one thing we cannot do is to fully explain as to why, in what was a very fit and healthy young man who was a very keen sportsman, his heart should stop in the way it did. I think you can be bold enough to say it was an interference with the electrical function.” Dr Sheppard said: “We only find a cause in 40 per cent of cases.” Recording a verdict of death from natural causes, Mr Hinchliff said he was amending the cause of death to sudden arrhythmic death syndrome. He said: “Electrical impulses that keep the heart beating, for some reason they have become deranged and failed and that’s what would have caused Tom’s sudden death.”