'Extremely fit' dad of two died after a freak allergic reaction

An “extremely fit” father of two died of heart failure after an allergic reaction.

Part-time schoolmaster Alistair William Henden, 56, had no known allergies but suffered an acute anaphylactic reaction before his death last summer.

An investigation into his death revealed that Mr. Henden was a very active man who followed a strict daily regimen of physical activity and loved gardening and home improvement.

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The day of his death, August 18, began “like any normal day,” said a statement from Mr. Henden’s wife Caroline.

The statement was made by Avon coroner Dr. Read Peter Harrowing during the investigation on January 5th. It said that Mr. Henden was a “very active” man with no known allergies. Somerset Live reports.

In an obituary notice in the Bath Chronicle, Mr. Henden was described as “a very beloved husband of Caroline and a loving father of Nicholas and Lydia”.

“Alistair is very much missed by so many family members, friends and colleagues,” it said.

During the investigation into his death before the coroner in Flax Bourton, Dr. Harrowing evidence from Mr. Henden’s daughter Lydia, as well as from a police officer and a medic who visited the crime scene.

Ms. Henden’s statement said that when she left her house on Bellotts Road around 8:45 a.m., her husband was still in bed because he didn’t start work until that afternoon.

She added that he was “very active, extremely fit and an avid gardener who enjoys DIY.” He enjoyed helping others with odd jobs and had a “rigorous exercise routine” that included strength building and weight lifting for half an hour each morning and evening.

Lydia worked from home the day her father died and said she saw him “briefly” in the kitchen between 9-10am.

Just before noon, he drove the short distance to a local hardware store to get supplies like tile adhesive.

The investigation found that Mr. Henden had not opened any of the containers for these materials prior to his death.

When he got home around noon, Mr. Henden collapsed and Lydia found him slumped and unresponsive right behind the front door.

She called the 911 emergency number and paramedics visited the scene trying to resuscitate the 56-year-old.

Craig Wilkins of the South West Ambulance Service was in the helicopter that day and landed on the nearby playing fields.

In his testimony to the coroner, Mr. Wilkins said that he arrived on Bellotts Road just after noon, where he saw an ambulance outside Mr. Henden’s house.

Craig went in to speak to his colleagues in advanced life support, but Mr. Henden did not respond to attempts to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead on the scene.

PC Leigh Watts of Avon and Somerset Police Department also attended the August 18 address and spoke to Lydia and Caroline Henden. He said both women were “extremely upset and incredulous”.

The investigation showed that Mr. Henden’s general practitioner, Dr. Arun Gadhok, the coroner confirmed that he had no known illnesses or allergic reactions in the history and was also not taking any medication.

During an autopsy in Flax Bourton, Dr. Edward Sheffield states that all of Mr. Henden’s heart valves were normal and his coronary arteries were free from obstruction.

A toxicological report also confirmed that there were no drugs or alcohol in his body at the time of death.

Dr. Sheffield noted that the leading cause of death was “sudden heart failure in a morphologically normal heart” and suggested that it was a case of sudden adult death.

Blood tests from Dr. However, Sarah Johnston – a consulting immunologist with the North Bristol NHS Trust – found that Alistair had “significantly elevated” mast cell tryptase levels when he died.

This, in her opinion, indicated that he had suffered anaphylaxis following an allergic reaction, but she couldn’t tell what caused it.

Dr. Sheffield has therefore recorded the cause of death as “sudden heart failure in a morphologically normal heart and acute anaphylactic (allergic) reaction of unknown etiology”.

When it came to rounding up the investigation into Mr. Henden’s death, Dr. Harrowing for a short narration.

He said: “Alistair died of sudden heart failure due to an allergic reaction of unknown origin. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to his friends and family.”

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