A couple have been struck by tragedy for a fourth time after their 17-month-old baby girl died of a mysterious illness, an inquest heard.
Farzana Begum, the daughter of Noreen Begum and Taugear Fazal of Exchange Street, Accrington, died at Royal Blackburn Hospital on July 2 last year.
The tot had previously been diagnosed at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital with an immune problem known as HLH and underwent a successful bone marrow transplant when she was around four months old.
A post-mortem examination failed to determine the exact cause of death but it was ‘very suggestive’ of an infection.
Blackburn Coroners Court heard how her parents had previously lost three other babies, one a stillbirth and two others after birth with presumed HLH.
Coroner Michael Singleton told the hearing: “To lose one child is appalling, to lose four is beyond words and I know there’s absolutely nothing I can say that will take away any of the pain and grief. Your loss is total and you have my heartfelt sympathy.”
The inquest heard how Farzana was admitted to A&E on July 1 with diarrhoea and vomiting and was ‘miserable’, not sleeping well, ‘pale’ and was later transferred to the children’s observation and assessment unit.
At around 1am on July 2 staff found her ‘unresponsive’ with no heart rate.
Paediatric pathologist Dr Edmund Cheesman said she was ‘really very small for her age’ and a post-mortem examination showed ‘indications of dehydration’.
He told the inquest: “Based on my post mortem findings I was unable to determine the exact cause of death.
“It is most likely due to an infection but unfortunately I was not able to identify the source or the agent cause.
“It is a fairly common infection which all of us would have had at one point or another. However with Farzana and everything else she had, and given her immune system was perhaps not 100 per cent normal, she just didn’t cope as well as you or I would with such an infection.
“Any other time you would have expected the baby to make a full recovery. Unfortunately she had these other problems which really exacerbated the situation.”
Coroner Michael Singleton said she died from sepsis due to an unknown source and contributing factors were the bone marrow transplant due to HLH and ‘developmental delay’.
He said: “I’m certain on the balance of probabilities that this was a natural cause of death.”