A DISABLED seven-year-old was training to become a Paralympian when he was given a psychotropic drug and died from a heart attack, an inquest heard.
Russell Wentworth, from Bradford, had been taking Isipod, a drug which makes patients hallucinate and can be used to treat hallucinations, in mind-altering combinations.
Tests were carried out on Russell after he began showing signs of depression but a verdict of accidental death was given by Bradford Coroner’s Court on August 9 last year.
Mr Wentworth was one of four people who died over a six-month period from western blotucleosis – a rare skin condition which causes scarring from the skin.
At the time of his death, Russell was on trial for further psychiatric testing at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and was taking meds.
The inquest heard medical evidence that he began taking his medication while he was on trial at the Palace of Westminster Hospital in Chelsea and Westminster District Hospital.
The jury was told he was also prescribed anti-depressants and anti-inflammatory medicines before the hearing.
In a recorded statement to the Coroner’s Court, Russell’s mother Cathy, said: “I just want to say that I am very sad but I believe I can get through this. It makes me angry and frustrated and I worry at times.”
Russell, a piano prodigy, was still one of the youngest athletes at BDCH but was keen to train. He was granted a late entry to be a part of the 2018 Glasgow Paralympics and met his favourite player Jordan McBreen.
The jury was told that Russell was taking meds up to 11 times a day and at first was taking three tablets every hour. A mother told the court: “As soon as he came out of school he had like no memory of it but I’m sure he liked being around people because he said he liked to talk about it.
“We felt confident that Russell was OK and we didn’t hear about anything to do with any mental problems.”
He was given medication for the next six months, as part of a clinical assessment, but continued to take the meds until his death.
Dr Luke Palmer, of the Bedfordshire Health Board, said: “Like everyone else, Russell had been prescribed Isipod.”
Dr Palmer said when stopped on July 20, it was found he was on the drug alongside Enerotest and Twin Cortex, three chemicals which cut down on energy by causing the brain to produce energy.
Russell was said to have have voluntarily attended an “electronic chat room” on August 9, and when he left that afternoon with one of his coaches he had a “general issue”.
He was seen by medics in Bradford the following morning and later attended Bradford Children’s Hospital. There it was said he was taken to the Specialist Ward where he was supported to enter into a trial for more medication.
On August 30, Russell came across a large newspaper article in hospital about his death which alerted colleagues that he needed further help.
John Palmer, from Bradford Children’s Hospital said: “At 3pm on the 9th Russell left the hospital and went to a clinic and said he was taking triaminophen.
“At 5pm Russell did go to do a study for his fellow pupils who had left the school the day before. We were notified at 5.30pm that he was not coming back.
“We weren’t given any indication of that.
“We are happy to report that we were never notified that Russell was in a trial and that there was any indication that he was planning to do anything of the sort. We were not made aware that he had entered into a trial.”
Mr Palmer said in Russell’s case medics knew of prescriptions containing Tylenol and Band-Aids which restricted the use of the drug.
Stressing that he was not given special permission to take the drugs and put on medication for the trial, Mr Palmer said: “There was no evidence of that.”
Toxicology reports also concluded that Russell had died from a heart attack.
Coroner Alasdair Evans accepted the coroner had “made his own mistakes” by not having been in contact with the doctor on the day he died.