Young footballer, 16, found dead by sister after dying suddenly in his bed

A budding footballer, 16, was found dead in bed by his sister after suffering a cardiac arrest despite having appeared fit and healthy.

Jake Pickford, from Abertysswg in South Wales, was discovered by his sister who thought he was having a lie-in after staying up late to play on his Xbox.

It is believed Jake, described as “a great lad and a great player” suffered a case of sudden adult death syndrome.

He reportedly had no previous serious medical issues or heart abnormalities.

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Pathologist Dr Andrew Bamber said Jake most probably died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) otherwise known as sudden adult death syndrome.

Gwent coroner Caroline Saunders said: “Jake was a healthy 16-year-old who died unexpectedly and without warning on August 15,2018.

“It appears there was a disturbance in the rhythm of Jake’s heartbeat and on balance the medical cause of death can be given as sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.”

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She recorded Jake’s death as a result of natural causes.

SADS is a cardiac arrest due to the heart’s natural rhythm being disturbed even though the person has no heart disease. Often there are no symptoms.

Jake played for Aberbargoed Buds FC under-18s and Pengam under-16s.

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He was found by his sister who tried to wake him at 2.10pm and efforts by his mum Gail Pickford, a nurse, and paramedics to revive him failed.

Newport Coroners’ Court heard that Mrs Pickford heard the television in Jake’s room as he was playing on his Xbox when she got up to go to work at 4am.

She told police that this was not unusual as he would sleep in the next day.

When she got back home she asked her daughter Chloe if Jake had eaten anything and hearing he was still in bed, she asked her to see if he was hungry.

Chloe went upstairs and found him unresponsive.

A post-mortem was carried out that revealed no signs of injury or trauma.

Following his death Jake’s family stated: “We are totally devastated by the loss of our amazing son and brother Jake, who has been taken from us far too soon."

A message from Aberbargoed Buds FC said: "Jake was a great lad and a great player, he will be greatly missed by all.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Rest in peace young man."

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