A MEDICAL expert found a Wigan dad to have one of the heaviest hearts he had ever seen, an inquest heard.
Liam Dalton of Alderley Road, Hindley, died suddenly in Wigan Infirmary on December 29 last year from natural causes after contracting pneumonia.
Bolton Coroner’s Court heard that the 45-year-old, who was described as a “fit and healthy” man, was on medication for his blood pressure but hadn’t taken it for up to a week before his death.
But pathologist Naveen Sharma said he had rarely seen a heart so large, weighing in at 768g - more than double the average, which resulted in hypertensive heart disease and had contributed to his death.
The dad-of-one had been complaining of feeling unwell for a couple of weeks after developing a dry cough.
This worsened in the few days leading up to his death and ex-wife Sharon Dalton, who had remained close friends with him, said that it became so bad that he struggled to breathe.
She added: “He had trouble sleeping because when he lay down he couldn’t breathe. And he was even struggling to walk upstairs. Any kind of movement or exertion and he just couldn’t breath.”
Mr Dalton attended the accident and emergency department at Wigan Infirmary on Boxing Day last year and was diagnosed with a chest infection and given antibiotics.
But just two days later he was rushed back in at around 5pm after he failed to walk properly and was struggling even to speak.
Tests and X-rays revealed that he had pneumonia in his lungs and would have to be admitted to hospital. Here he was treated with antibiotics and monitored throughout the night. The next day his family visited him and found him to be improving.
Mrs Dalton said: “Remarkably he seemed OK. He was settled and was having a bit of a joke with the sister on the ward.”
But just half an hour later Mr Dalton became distressed and unable to breathe after undergoing a CT scan. Doctors attempted to resuscitate him but, sadly, he died shortly after.
Doctors and Mr Sharma agree that his heart was weakened due to infection and high blood pressure.
Respiratory consultant Abdul Ashish said: “I think that his youth and age provided him with a compensatory mechanism for the period of time.
“But his heart couldn’t take anymore because of the overwhelming infection.”
He added: “I feel that because of his age his heart had supported him for so long but with the infection it decompensated.”
Area coroner Alan Walsh recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.
He said: “I’m very sorry to the family and so sad for a boy who has lost a father and to Mrs Dalton who has lost a son.”