Girl, 3, collapses and dies after showing her grandparents ballerina dance in a lift
15:37 GMT, 5 April 2012
A three-year-old girl suddenly collapsed and died in a hospital lift – moments after dancing around like a ballerina, an inquest heard.
Whitney Caves had been imitating her favourite character Angelina
Ballerina at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, where she was visiting her cousin on October 22 last year.
The 'chatty and bubbly' youngster was showing off her dance moves to her grandparents when she collapsed out of the blue and was rushed to the hospital’s children’s ward but medics couldn't save her.
Whitney Caves is believed to have been suffering from an irregular heartbeat
Giving evidence at Wakefield Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, consultant
paediatric pathologist Dr Marta Cohen said the tragic youngster had probably died from sudden death syndrome caused by an irregular heartbeat.
The court heard that Whitney, from Wakefield, had visited the hospital on the morning of October 22.
She was in the lift with her grandparents
when she suddenly went limp.
Whitney loved the cartoon Angelina Ballerina
Although doctors rushed her straight to
the children's ward nothing could be done to save her and she was
pronounced dead at 11.30am.
Tests on the lift found no evidence of any fault that could have caused an electric shock.
Appliances in Whitneys home were even checked to see if they were giving off deadly carbon monoxide, but came back negative.
Despite extensive investigations, no definitive cause of Whitney’s death could be found.
Consultant Dr Cohen gave the cause of death as sudden unexpected death in childhood, which she said was a condition more frequently seen in infants.
Coroner David Hinchliff asked Dr Cohen: 'When you examined Whitney she had no illness, she was a very healthy normal little three-year-old girl'
She agreed and said she had not found any abnormalities in Whitney’s heart but it was possible an irregular heartbeat had caused her to suddenly collapse.
Whitney’s mother Jodie Caves is now set to undergo tests to try and ensure she is not at risk, the court was told.
Whitney was visiting her sick cousin at Pinderfields Hospital when she collapsed
Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff told Whitney’s family: 'It is very easy to tell you what it wasn’t, it is not quite so easy to tell you what it was.
'There’s nothing that you could have done, there’s nothing that you have done wrong.
'Something has happened which has caused the electrical impulses to the heart to become deranged and stop working.'
In a statement her family described Whitney as a 'very chatty and bubbly personality.'