Mystery surrounds death of Padiham baby Layla-Mai

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A MUM and dad from Padiham may never know why their little girl suddenly died, an inquest heard.

Layla-Mai O’Malley-Shearer was just four months old when she died at her home in Russell Terrace on February 18th. She lived with her mum, Georgina O’Malley (18), and Georgina’s partner, Kieran Atkinson.

The perfectly healthy baby, who had had all of her injections, suddenly stopped breathing while lying on the settee with Kieran.

While there are a variety of possible explanations to Layla-Mai’s death, including heart arrhythmia, none of them could be confirmed.

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said: “For two weeks in February she had a mild cold, it was nothing terribly serious.

“You went to Boots and got her some Snufflebabe, and Layla-Mai had been having that for a couple of days. On February 17th she seemed fine, and was feeding well. You took her to see your mum in Padiham. You left her with your mum for a few hours while you went to do some shopping, and you went home with her at about 7pm at night. She was playing happily.”

After being fed, it is believed Layla-Mai slept well throughout the night, and woke up at 7-30am on February 18th. She was taken downstairs by Kieran, who shouted out to Georgina when he noticed Layla-Mai had stopped breathing. An ambulance arrived shortly after and the little girl was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The inquest was opened and adjourned on February 23rd. A post-mortem examination was carried out by pathologist Dr Stefanie Bitetti, and on June 26th Mr Taylor recorded a verdict of unascertained natural causes. Mr Taylor said: “Dr Bitetti cannot tell me, or more importantly, yourselves, how your baby died. Medical science hasn’t progressed as far as we think it has. I can only repeat my condolences to you, and I am sorry you have to leave here today with no answers, and without knowing how your baby has died.”