Dad of three died suddenly of heart problem at age 34
A YOUNG dad of three who was training to be a priest died in bed from a sudden heart problem, an inquest was told.
Colin Phelps was just 34 when his wife woke to find him having a seizure in the early hours of March 27.
She called the emergency services who started CPR immediately and took him straight to hospital, but he could not be resuscitated.
Mr Phelps lived with his family in Denmark Road, Gloucester, and the hearing was told he was "full of life every day".
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His father-in-law Paul Long said Colin had been experiencing a lot of stress prior to his death, with three young children at home and the pressure of being on a degree course.
His GP Dr Ian Jervis told Gloucestershire Deputy Coroner David Dooley that Colin had suffered from chest pain in 2010, but it had no sinister features and did not recur.
Then in June 2011, he had been to the surgery with severe stress because of his studies.
"The last time he came to see me was a week before he died, when he complained of a skin problem. There were no other significant health issues at that time," he said.
A post mortem revealed a slightly enlarged heart but nothing else that had any bearing on his death.
Further tests showed that Mr Phelps was suffering from cardiac hypertrophe, a thickening of the walls of the heart, which could have pre-disposed him to sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS).
Summing up, the deputy Gloucestershire coroner David Dooley said it was a sad case of the sudden death of a man with a young family, who was training for the ministry.
No significant heart problem had ever been found but Mr Phelps was suffering from stress.
"But he was anxious to complete his studies and get to work," he said.
"The only clue to a cause of death is the enlarged heart. SADS gives no warning and is a natural disease process."
He recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.