Fitness and Negligence
Louise Smith, aged 34, was a second dan in karate and regularly completed triathlons. However, she died just 50 metres into a run, six months after giving birth to her son, Joshua.
Doctors had incorrectly diagnosed her with a non-life threatening heart condition after she fainted and felt dizzy during her pregnancy. An inquest at Avon Coroner’s Court on Thursday said that she died from arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopthaty. This condition was undiagnosed in her, and had the potential to be lethal, which it proved to be.
Dr Glyn Thomas and Dr Stephanie Curtis, who are both consultant cardiologists at the Bristol Heart Institute, both said they wrongly believed that Smith’s condition was not potentially lethal.
Louise Smith, the rehabilitation counsellor from Weston-super-mare in Somerset, gave birth in May 2016. She went for a small jog after doctors told her she would be fine. However, within minutes she was having a fit on the floor, and was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary. She died in the afternoon of the 20th of November.
The family and friends of Louise Smith were devastated by her sudden and unexpected death. Her father, John Smith, said “You expect to bury your mum and dad, maybe even a partner, never your youngest child. When you lose a child part of you dies. I think that’s the best way to sum it up. I’m not the same bloke any more.”
In the eulogy at her funeral, her older brother James said “Louise lived life to the full and loved a challenge, no matter what it may have been…I loved every moment we participated together in events knowing full well it would be a challenge, competitive, and a success, which is the word I would use to sum up her life. She most certainly lived for the moment and was always fun to be with. I can’t imagine there are many people who have accomplished as much as she has by living her life in such a way and touched so many people in a positive manner.”
Smith’s partner, Gareth Prust said “She was an amazing woman. In the short time she had she was an amazing mum.”
Coroner and Charity
A coroner concluded Louise Smith’s death occurred due to natural causes.
More than £3,000 has been raised towards the British Heart Foundation in her name and memory.