Father, 55, died after removing life-saving breathing mask… while SLEEP WALKING

September 24, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A father died after removing his life-saving breathing mask in the middle of the night – while SLEEP WALKING.

Dad-of-five Tim Fenton, 55, suffered sleep apnoea, a condition caused by obesity that interrupts breathing.

Divorced Mr Fenton, who had the condition for ten years, had been given a special breathing monitor to keep his airways open overnight.

Father-of-five Tim Fenton who died in his sleep when his airway became blocked

Father-of-five Tim Fenton who died in his sleep when his airway became blocked

But an inquest heard he had possibly not been wearing the breathing mask when he died on April 1.

Speaking after the inquest his brother David Fenton, 53, said he had been seen sleep walking at about 5am on the morning of his death.

The inquest revealed the obese musician’s high weight and Body Mass Index was also a contributing factor to his death.

David, an electronics company director, said: “I can’t imagine someone else would take the responsibility to put his mask back on.

“He had struggled with his weight for years. It is quite possible that he put on more weight leading up to his death.

“Sleep apnoea is about the size of your throat, and I had it too. But I lost four stone, whereas Tim just couldn’t shift the weight.

“I do not know what his BMI or weight were. As the weight went on he got more and more private about it.

“But he would have been classed as the larger side of obese. His death was a surprise and a shock to everyone.

“He had appeared to be happy and in good health when he spoke to one of his daughters the night before. He was a loving father of five children.”

Recording a verdict of natural causes, Mid Kent and Medway coroner Patricia Harding said: “It is clear that it is certainly a possibility that sleep apnoea was involved in his death.”

She gave the medical cause of death as cardiomegaly with sleep apnoea.

Pathologist Dr Olaf Biedzrycki told the inquest on September 17: “Given that he was overweight, and given his build and the fact that it was a nocturnal death, sleep apnoea is a recognised cause of death.”

He also added that Mr Fenton had an extremely enlarged but otherwise healthy heart, and could find no reason for its size.

Mr Fenton’s body was found by his landlord in his bedroom at his home in, Loose, Kent, where he had had been living for only a few months.

He was a long time member of the Sidcup Symphony Orchestra and a photographer.

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