No answers into death of “perfect” baby boy

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Mystery remains over the tragic and sudden death of a “perfect” baby boy.

Shay Smith was just two months old when he died on April 5th this year after his devastated mum Christy Smith found him unresponsive at their home in Whitehall Street, Nelson.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court was held to provide answers to Christy and her family but sadly the efforts of consultant paediatric pathologist Dr Melanie Newbold could not provide a cause of death.

Christy had described Shay as “a precious, perfect little baby who I miss every day and always will.”

She told the hearing that Shay had been born on February 18th in a normal birth and had been allowed home that day.

He was feeding well and had not been unwell. However, at around 7-30am Christy found him unresponsive and rang an ambulance.

Dr Newbold, who conducted a post-mortem, said: “Shay was a normally grown baby for his age with no external signs of disease.

“I conducted a number of other tests which all came back negative. There were no congenital abnormalities, no evidence of serious infection, no metabolic disease and no evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“I also looked at tissues under the microscope but found nothing. He was thriving and normal. Sadly, babies do sometimes die in the early years of life like this.

“Various names have been attributed to this in the past including cot death, but they are not always helpful. Science, as it currently stands, can’t give us a cause and so the death is unascertained.

“Some environmental factors increase the risk of sudden death in babies and these include parental smoking and sleeping in the same bed as parents.”

Deputy East Lancashire Coroner Mr Mark Williams recorded a conclusion of natural causes.