Baby from ‘perfect’ home died suddenly


A YOUNG baby from a “perfect” home died from an unknown cause, an inquest has heard.

Ava Rose Shorrock was born prematurely but was doing well and adored by her parents, Victoria Shorrock and Jake Patel.

But at an inquest in Bolton, Prof Alan Walsh heard how two-month-old Ava was found dead by Mr Patel when he returned to their St Helens Road, Bolton, home on February 24 after his night shift as a warehouseman.

After a night feed Ms Shorrock had carefully placed the baby in bed with her but ensured that she was separated from her by cushions and was not covered by a duvet.

Mr Walsh stated that Ava had not been lain on or suffocated.

The court heard how Ava was born prematurely at 36 weeks on December 2 last year weighing just under 3lb, but after spending some time in neo-natal intensive care at the Royal Bolton Hospital she was allowed home on December 20 and continued to make good progress.

“Up to February 23 everything seemed to be fine,” said Prof Walsh. “The house was very clean, tidy and she had all her toys. It was the perfect environment in which to bring up a child.”

Ms Shorrocks told how that evening Ava fed well and settled, dressed in a babygro and scratch mitts, and in the middle of the night, after feeding her again, she settled her in bed with her.

“You were very careful to separate her and put her in a safe place,” Prof Walsh said.

Mr Patel returned home at 7.40am and, at first, thought Ava and his partner were both sleeping, but then realised the baby was unresponsive.

Paramedics called to the house were unable to revive her.

Paediatric pathologist Dr Heather Kier told the inquest how the post-mortem on Ava revealed no sign of injury, trauma or medical cause of death.

She added that some factors are associated with, but not causes of, sudden deaths in babies such as co-sleeping, parental smoking, prematurity and low birth weight or over heating.

DI David Sinclair carried out an investigation following Ava’s death and stated there were no suspicious circumstances.

“There were no injuries and Ava was a normal baby on the face of it and clearly well looked after,” he said.

“In my view it was a lovely family home.”

Ms Shorrocks has three older children but Ava was the first baby with Mr Patel, her partner of six years.

She described Ava as “the love of my life”.

Professor Walsh recorded a narrative conclusion that Ava died “as a consequence of naturally occurring disease but the cause of which is unknown”.

Offering his condolences to the family he added that they should “treasure” the very short time they had with their daughter.

“This is a death from a naturally occurring disease which simply cannot be identified,” he said.

“As a father I always say it is unimaginable to lose a baby and inexplicable. I am extremely sorry and you have my greatest sympathy.”

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