Brighton Marathon death: Sam Harper Brighouse inquest

Sam Harper Brighouse Sam Harper Brighouse collapsed on Grand Avenue in Hove

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A runner in the Brighton marathon died following a "catastrophic and unsurvivable" collapse, an inquest has been told.

Sam Harper Brighouse, 23, collapsed on Grand Avenue in Hove, 16 miles (26km) into the race on 14 April.

The biology graduate from Forest Hill in South East London had been suffering from ischemic bowel disease.

His asthma had not contributed to his sudden collapse, the hearing at Brighton County Court was told.

Mr Harper Brighouse was considered fit and healthy at the time of the race.

Dr Mark Taylor, a consultant pathologist at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital, said the bowel condition is reversible initially, but can progress and may prove fatal.

It can cause up to 75% of blood flow to be removed from the organ.

'Bowel was dead'

Dr Taylor told the hearing: "We know that up to half of people who run marathons develop symptoms relating to their gastro-intestines.

"They can be minor stomach cramps, diarrhoea, but on the other end of the scale, ischemic bowel can be exhibited in endurance exercise.

"When it gets to that critical stage, depending on how much of the bowel has died, depends on whether the person can survive.

"Unfortunately in Sam, it was catastrophic and unsurvivable."

Dr Taylor was asked if Mr Harper Brighouse could have been saved if he had been taken to hospital immediately, rather than having CPR administered at the scene.

He answered: "I believe all his bowel was dead at that stage and even if [medical staff] thought of ischemic bowel, it wouldn't have been any help at all at that stage."

Mr Harper Brighouse probably did not notice he had the bowel condition as its "non-specific" symptoms, such as pain and discomfort, may have led him to believe they were linked to his running, he added.

The inquest continues.

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