Young St Neots woman’s death caused by skull abnormality

Charlotte Rose

Charlotte Rose - Credit: Archant

THE death of a popular young sales administrator was caused by a rare congenital skull abnormality described as a “ticking time bomb” waiting to happen.

Charlotte Rose, of Kenilworth Close, Eaton Socon, had complained of headaches and suffered a series of falls in the lead up to her death on March 19 this year, an inquest heard.

A post mortem of the 21-year-old’s body found she had a previously undetected condition which affects one in a thousand people.

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, Coroner Stephen Morris said a number of minor falls Miss Rose suffered the weekend before she died had not directly contributed to her death.

Dr Alison Cluroe, consultant pathologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, told the inquest Miss Rose’s problem caused the falls and not the other way round.

She said: “The symptoms associated with this abnormality are loss of balance and headaches. It can cause sudden death at any time and was a small ticking time bomb which would most likely have resulted in this outcome.

“Sometimes if you bump your head it can speed of the process and make things worse. But there are people who go through life with this condition and have no problems whatsoever.”

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Dr Cluroe said further neurological assessment of Miss Rose’s brain revealed a small area of bruising consistent with a minor bump to the head.

Marked swelling on the brain and changes to the skull bone, which had been going on for some time, were also discovered, the inquest at Huntingdon Coroners Court heard.

“With this condition part of the skull tends to be pushed into the spinal column, compressing the area of the spinal cord which causes breathing and heart rate,” Dr Cluroe added.

“Essentially, Charlotte would have gone to sleep and wouldn’t have known anything about it at that time.”

Miss Rose died at home in the afternoon. Paramedics could not resuscitate her.

Paying tribute after the inquest, Mick and Tracey Rose described their daughter as “fun-loving, friendly and vivacious”.

“I cannot remember anybody who had a bad word to say about Charlotte,” said Mr Rose. “We all thought the world of her and are going to miss her forever more.

“Her boyfriend Rik was her world and she would do anything for her brother Callum, 17, and sister Chloe, 20.”

Mrs Rose added: “Charlotte had her whole life in front of her. We will suffer a bit but it is Charlotte who will miss out on a full life.”

The family are planning to hold a series of fundraising events to raise money for Eaton Socon charities. The Rev Timothy Robb, of St Mary’s Church, is working closely with Mr and Mrs Rose on the events and more details will be available in due course.