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‘Healthy’ teenage boy, 19, dropped dead from heart condition

A FIT and healthy teenage boy dropped dead from a heart condition while cooking dinner after doctor looked at the wrong x-ray.

Micah Gillings, 19, was found to have an enlarged heart when he underwent an X-ray in January 2020, having previously complained of a persistent cough, an inquest heard.

However when he went to a follow-up appointment with his GP two months later, the medic accidentally studied an eight-year-old X-ray report of his which did not include the abnormality.

Micah was told that he was healthy but collapsed and died just four months later at his home in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire, while cooking dinner for his girlfriend.

The teen was due to study business at Manchester Metropolitan University in September and was described by family as “a joy to be with” and talented basketball player who was “loved by everybody”.

He died from a suspected rupture of his aorta – the major artery that carries blood away from the heart.

Details of the tragic death of Micah, who once tried out for the national basketball team, emerged at an inquest held in Peterborough Town Hall today.

Mum Natasha Gillings has previously said that she believes her son had Marfan Syndrome, a genetic condition that can weaken the heart and aorta.

The inquest heard that Micah contacted his GP – referred as a Dr Barnes – in December 2019 complaining of a cough, which doctors believed to be pneumonia, and was referred for a chest X-Ray.

Dr Helen Addley, a radiology consultant, performed the X-ray at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge on January 9, 2020 and found that he had an enlarged heart before filing a report to his GP, the inquest heard.

But when Micah returned to Monkfield Medical Practice on March 12, the doctor said he gave him the result of his 2012 x-ray, which recorded Micah’s heart as normal.

He said: “I believe I read it as 2021. I just read that as the most up to date X-Ray.”I would have expected it [the 2020 result] to be available in the notes.”

Dr Barnes said that he would have referred Micah to a cardiologist if he’d seen the 2020 result.

Clarifying, coroner Andrew Perfect asked: “Your evidence is that you saw an X-ray from 2012 and discussed it with a patient saying it was normal but didn’t notice that it was from 2012. That’s your evidence?”

Dr Barnes explained that he didn’t double check the date as he assumed that someone of Micah’s age would’t have had many x-rays.

There was also some administrative confusion as to where the 2020 report was and why it hadn’t been filed into the right place on time, with a backlog being a potential partial explanation.

Adjourning the inquest, Mr Perfect advised Dr Barnes to seek legal representation before continuing with his evidence.

He added that Dr Barnes, Monkfield Medical Practice and Addenbrooke’s Hospital will remain persons of interest in the next hearing.

He passed away suddenly on July 23 this year
He passed away suddenly on July 23 this yearCredit: CambridgeshireLive/BPM
A talented basketball player who was 'loved by everybody'
A talented basketball player who was ‘loved by everybody’Credit: CambridgeshireLive/BPM


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