A new mother who died two days after giving birth was killed by sudden adult death syndrome (SADS), an inquest has heard.

Senior doctors said nothing could have been done to prevent the death of Lisa Parkisson during the 2014 tragedy at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

Ms Parkisson, 35, gave birth to a baby boy, Zac, following a Caesarean section at the Royal Oldham Hospital in June 2014.  Her family had left for the evening, expecting to bring the first-time mother home in the coming days.

However, they received a devastating call the following morning to say she had been found unresponsive in her bed.

When her father Robert arrived on the ward, a crash team was desperately trying to resuscitate her, the Daily Mail reports.

Mr Parkisson, speaking at a preliminary inquest hearing yesterday, said: ‘I walked into the room and there were about eight people all around on her.

‘One of them was giving her CPR. I’ve seen it on the telly before, but it was nothing like this.

‘I had never seen anything like that in my life. I could not watch it any more. I couldn’t watch them do that to my little girl.

‘My other daughter met me in the corridor and I said to her, ”she’s gone’.’

The family said they had concerns about the length of time Ms Parkisson, who had worked in the travel industry, had been left in bed without observations.

Her medical records show she had been administered painkillers at 4.05am after complaining of rib and shoulder pain.

A midwife had checked on her at around 6.25am and found her ‘sleeping and breathing’.

The next time a medic went into the room at around 8.25am, Lisa was found unresponsive.

Her auntie Val Wroe, said: ‘Should more have been done at that time? That’s the question that torments us.’

It has taken almost two years for an inquest into Lisa’s death to be heard and during that time her family had been presented with several causes of death.

Initial reports indicated she had died as a result of an amniotic fluid embolism, yet this was ruled out by pathologists at the hearing.

Professor Sebastian Lucas, expert in pathology, said the fat embolism in her lungs had been most likely caused by ‘enthusiastic’ CPR.

Professor Lucas and two other experts also ruled out pre-eclampsia or anaphylaxis as a cause of death.

Experts at the hearing agreed it was most likely that Ms Parkisson had died of sudden adult death syndrome.

The inquest continues.

Sudden adult death syndrome (SADS) is caused by a ‘ventricular arrhythmia’, a disturbance in the heart’s rhythm. The first symptoms can occur in seconds.

Worldwide SADS is responsible for approx 20 million deaths, which equals 400 deaths a year in Australia.

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  • oh my goodness. How awful and such a shock.


  • How tragic. It’s probably the last thing her family expected. So much sadness at a time that should be so happy.


  • This is devastating! And to the think the little boys never got to know his mum


  • Before discovering this article I had never heard of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
    How absolutely devastating for her family!
    It is very scary to think something like that can happen so quickly!
    Being surrounded by the what ifs will torment her family to no end.
    I hope they all band together for poor little Zac.
    Rest In Peace Lisa.


  • Wow! I have never heard of this before. Scary.


  • Wow, I never knew such a thing could happen! How awful; poor family. :(


  • This is just so very sad. My thoughts are with the family.


  • How common is this in adults? How devastating for the family as they will never have peace from the “what ifs” that accompany their grief.


  • Prior to this article, I was unaware of SADS. This is incredibly heart breaking for the family. May they find peace in their lives.


  • Like many here, I’ve never heard of this before. How awful, thoughts and prayers for the family.


  • How tragic for this family ! 400 SADS a year in Australia, that’s a lot !!


  • Never heard of SADS before – how terrible for her family and her husband now having to bring up their son alone. My heart goes out to them


  • Oh my…i have never heard of this….
    We are all well aware of SIDS but to think that there is a adult equivalent …scary.


  • I lost my beautiful son to SIDS and my friend years ago now lost her partner to adult SIDS it is such a hard thing to go through as you have no answers as to why it happens.. My heart goes out to her family much love to you all in this time of tradegy.xxxx


  • I have recently been diagnosed with Long QT Wave, which causes Ventricular Tachycardia, I Have been told this is a hereditary condition and can cause sudden death. I am the third member of our family (female) to be diagnosed with this. I am now on a waiting list for Genetic Testing to see what Level of Long QT I am, so I can have the appropriate treatment. I have had a ICD fitted, which is a Defibrillator. I hope this helps to come to a conclusion for the family.


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