Lewes teen who died in her sleep had undiagnosed heart defect

Annie Edwards SUS-150224-114135001
Annie Edwards SUS-150224-114135001

A ‘happy, warm-hearted, clever and beautiful’ teenager who died in her sleep suffered from an undiagnosed rare heart condition, an inquest into her death has heard.

Annie Edwards had been at a house party with friends in Ditchling when she went to sleep and never woke up.

Emergency services were called to the scene on February 20, 2015, but were unable to revive the 17-year-old.

An initial post-mortem examination proved inconclusive in finding a cause of death. However, after it was discovered that Annie’s mother suffers from Brugada Syndrome - a genetic condition that can cause potentially-fatal sudden electrical activity in the heart and one only detected through testing - Annie’s body was checked for the same defect.

Tests proved positive and her cause of death was eventually given as Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome caused by Brugada Syndrome.

The inquest, held at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, October 1, heard how Miss Edwards, of Southdown Avenue, Lewes, had been a “fit and healthy young girl” and the house party she was attending, in South Street was “pleasant, civilised and well-conducted”.

Annie, who had attended Southover Church of England Primary School and Priory School, was in her second year at Varndean College and had received an unconditional offer from Birmingham University to study English Language and Classical Literature.

Her parents Helen and Stephen described her as “wonderful, happy, loving, warm-hearted, clever, mad and beautiful” and said: “It is impossible to believe we will never see her again.”

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a conclusion of death by natural causes.

To view more tributes to Miss Edwards, click here.

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