Sudden Adult Death Syndrome kills 33-year-old man on night out in Cleethorpes
"IT'S not the years in your life but the life in your years."
A Tweet by 33-year-old Carl Robinson just weeks before he died suddenly after collapsing on Cleethorpes High Street in the early hours of the morning.
The parents of the sporty 33-year-old electrician have paid tribute to "the perfect son" following an inquest into his untimely death.
Carl, of Nicholson Road, Healing, was walking back from a night out in After Dark in Cleethorpes at 3.55am on July 1, last year, when he suddenly collapsed.
A passer-by gave him CPR and called an ambulance but he was pronounced dead at Grimsby's Diana, Princess of Wales hospital at 5.50am that morning.
At an inquest into his death, the court heard that toxicology reports from the post mortem examination revealed he had not drunk heavily or taken any drugs.
His mother Edna described Carl as "the perfect son" and wept as coroner Paul Kelly recorded that he had died of natural causes – Sudden Adult Death Syndrome – a totally unexplained heart attack.
After the inquest, Carl's parents said the result offered little closure, with dad Fred adding that it "makes no sense" that someone so fit and healthy could be taken from them.
However, they took comfort in how much he had achieved, summed up by the prophetic Tweet Carl had posted just six weeks before he died.
Edna, 58, said: "He had achieved everything that he set out to and did more in his 33 years on this earth than most people could do if they live to be 80."
Carl was sporty from a young age and played football for Immingham Pilgrims, swam for the Grimsby Cleethorpes and District Swimming Club but later in life found his real passion, playing Rugby for Barton RUFC.
He had seen England play rugby both at Twickenham and in France and even met his heroes Johnny Wilkinson and Laurence Dellaglio – who sent a message of sympathy after Carl's death. Carl liked to travel and visited 28 countries in his life, including Mexico, Jamaica, and many parts of the USA, such as Florida and Las Vegas – where he saw boxing legend Joe Calzaghe's last fight.
After going to North and South Killingholme Primary, then Immingham Comprehensive, he did an apprenticeship to become an electrician and later set up his own business.
In recent years he had been doing well for himself and he bought his dream car, a red Mercedes SL500, just weeks before he died.
Dad Fred said that shortly after buying the car, he chauffeured a friend's son to and from his prom in Doncaster after the car they hired let them down at the last minute – the sort of act that summed him up.
Fred, 57, said: "He was thoughtful and considerate and had time for everybody so if he could help, he would help – nothing was too much effort for him.
"I honestly don't think we could have had a better son if we were allowed to pick one."
After Carl's death, floral tributes were laid on Cleethorpes High Street by many well-wishers who knew the popular, sporty young man.
More than 500 people attended his funeral at North Killingholme Church, and after the inquest, Fred and Edna opened a memory box for the first time, which contained hundreds of messages about Carl's warmth, compassion – and his cheeky grin.
Edna added: "We had such a bond – he was never out of contact for more than a day and we still expect him to ring or pop round."
Girlfriend Hayley Darwood, 30, of New Waltham, had been with Carl for three years before his sudden death.
"He was a very big part of my life and not a day goes by when he's not in my thoughts," she said.
Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) can happen anywhere, anytime, and usually causes death in people under 40 years old.
Melanie Turner, a trainee nursery nurse, also suffered SADS in 2011m dying suddenly while staying at Thorpe Park, aged 18.
The disorder can occur in active, apparently healthy people in all age groups.
Someone who dies as a result of the disease may never have any symptoms during their life.
Most of the conditions that cause SADS are treatable.
If someone under the age of 40 in your family dies suddenly, contact your GP for a referral to a specialist screening team.