Preston painter and decorator Neil Swann died of natural causes aged 36, inquest rules

A 36 year old Preston painter and decorator died as a result of diabetes a city inquest was told yesterday.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 7:03 am

Area Coroner Chris Long concluded that Neil Swann’s death was due to natural causes.

The inquest was told that Neil, of Lyndhurst Drive in Ashton, had Type 1 diabetes diagnosed when he was 13 and had Addison’s disease.

Neil was found dead in bed at his home on February 17 this year by his mother Karen Eastham.

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Preston Coroner's Court, on Faraday Court, Fulwood where the inquest was held.

He had a history of medical issues related to his diabetes and had had a leg amputation and foot ulcers. The court was told that Neil had recurrent problems with his diabetes regarding the control of blood sugar levels.

He used a Libre glucose monitoring device designed to help prevent hyperglycaemic episodes and information from its readings was detailed in court.

They indicated instability in his glucose levels in the days leading to his death. The court was told blood sugar levels had been elevated for long periods but also, on occasions, there had been a sudden drop in blood sugar levels. On the day of his death there was a gap in the data download.

Earlier in that week he had a glycaemic episode before going to the dentist but took appropriate dietary treatment and went for a coffee with his mother afterwards and had said he felt fine.

When he again felt unwell he had called his parents in the early hours of the morning. His mother and stepfather Gregory had call guardian on their phone and it seemed Neil had difficulty getting through and did not press the appropriate connect options.

When his mother got up and saw the missed calls she rang him. He said he had thought he was going hyperglycaemic and had just wanted to talk. They talked for around 10 minutes and he had said he was OK.

When Neil could not be contacted by phone on February 17 his mother had gone to his house and found him unresponsive.

Neil had also suffered from depression and had some difficulties eating and drinking with food and liquids getting stuck in his chest area and had undergone a test to investigate this.

A statement by a paramedic attending the scene said he believed Neil had fallen into a hyperglycaemic diabetic coma and had died in his sleep.

After considering medical reports the coroner said: “Neil was diabetic and there had been some issues in the past about the management of his diabetes.

"It’s absolutely clear to me from what I’ve read in evidence both from his family and professionals that there has been support for Neil in trying to help him manage his diabetes.

"That comes across in statements from family but also in statements from medical professionals. But unfortunately as I suspect we are very well aware, diabetes can result in a severe and quick reaction.”

He concluded a hyperglycaemic event led to Neil’s death adding: “I haven’t heard anything in evidence that suggests Neil’s death could have been prevented by anybody. The prognosis in respect of Neil in the circumstances was poor.”