A 22-YEAR-old student who died at his Nailsworth home after a fall had previously had a seizure while on holiday – and had suffered a head injury a few weeks earlier when he was assaulted during a night out in Bath, an inquest heard yesterday.
Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court heard that Adam Foulkes, a final year student at Bath University School of Management, was found collapsed by his brother Matthew at their home address of Northfield Road, Nailsworth, on Friday 7th June last year.
Matthew told the police they had played football the previous evening with a group of friends and had then gone to the local pub for a few drinks. When they returned home Adam stayed up playing computer games.
The following day, stated Matthew, he assumed that Adam was either still in his bedroom or had gone out but he was not concerned about him until he tried to get into the downstairs toilet later in the day.
“I realised that Adam had fallen to the floor when I tried to forced the toilet door open. I immediately called the emergency services and with the help of two guests pulled Adam from the toilet area and performed CPR,” Matthew stated.
A short time later the paramedics arrived but pronounced Adam dead, the inquest was told.
Inspector Wendy Burford and a scenes of crime officer attended and found blood on the wall, consistent with Adam falling. The inspector said she concluded there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Adam’s death.
The inspector said she contacted Adam’s mother, who was on holiday in Croatia at the time, and she told her that he had fractured his skull six weeks earlier after a football match when he had fallen off a bench.
But this statement was contradicted by a Bath University friend who told the family that Adam had actually been involved in an incident in a night club on April 13 when he suffered a head injury and was admitted to hospital for treatment.
Det Con Christian Ogler from Avon and Somerset Police told the inquest he investigated the night club incident and found that Adam had been assaulted there – eight weeks prior to his death.
“Adam was taken to the Royal United Hospital at 3am on April 14, 2019 and told the clinical staff that he had no memory of the incident but the paramedic crew told the staff that they believed he had fallen and hit his head,” the officer stated.
“The doctor in A&E said he had facial injuries, swelling and amnesia and a headache and he was given appropriate medication and was advised to stay in hospital for observation for 48 hours.
“But Mr Foulkes discharged himself the following day at 5pm.”
The inquest was told that Dr Thomas Minton, a neurological consultant, had previously written to Mr Foulkes’ GP in January 2019 informing him that Adam had suffered from a suspected tonic clonic epileptic seizure in Bangkok, Thailand, while on holiday in July 2018.
The doctor said: “He landed in the capital city and went out for a couple of drinks with friends.
“The following morning while washing up he felt a little shaky and light headed.
“He then suffered from a few jerks to his upper limbs leading to him becoming unconscious.
“Adam’s friends have relayed the incident to Mr Foulkes and told him he was rigid from head to toe, having fitted in the upper limbs. His jaw was clenched.
“When he came round after eight minutes he was dazed, confused and disorientated and was back to normal after a couple of hours.
“He denies drinking heavily the night before or taking any illicit substances.
“He has not shown any other symptoms to suggest any further seizures and I would not recommend any medication at this stage.”
The doctor said that in March 2019 Adam underwent further clinical tests and an MRI scan was entirely normal. There was no evidence of epilepsy.
Dr Mark Silva of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital said Adam had been referred to them following the possible tonic clonic epileptic seizure but as the patient had only suffered only one seizure medication was not prescribed. That would have been done if there had been a second seizure.
Home Office pathologist Dr Ryk James who carried out two autopsy procedures said that Adam’s toxicology report had been negative and there was no sign of any fresh injury to his brain to indicate a recent seizure.
“It is not possible to be sure what the cause of death was but in conclusion it would be a collapse associated with a history of a previous seizure in a position likely to obstruct breathing and effectively he died of natural causes,” said the pathologist.
Assistant Gloucestershire Coroner Roland Wooderson accepted the findings and offered his condolences to Adam’s family, who were in court.
The coroner recorded a narrative conclusion saying: “Adam was found sadly deceased at his home address by his family. The pathologist at post-mortem confirms that it wasn’t possible to ascertain the cause of death.”
More than £13,000 was raised in Adam’s memory by Bath half marathon runners after his death.