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Margate teaching assistant Joanna Smith-Whiting suffered heart attack and died after school trip to Herne Bay

A teaching assistant suffered sudden cardiac failure after extensive walking on a school trip put extensive pressure on her heart.

Joanna Smith-Whiting, 38, was found motionless in bed at her Margate home by her family the day after the school visit to Herne Bay.

Joanna Smith-Whiting suffered a heart attack
Joanna Smith-Whiting suffered a heart attack

It is thought "lots of walking" during the St Gregory's Catholic Primary School trip had taken a toll on her heart and sparked the cardiac arrest.

An inquest into her death was held today at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone.

The mum-of-two, who lived in Thanet Road, Margate, was an actress who had appeared in a number of shows in Kent.

She was a founding member at Thanet's Bluefire Community Theatre where she wrote, directed and acted in productions.

After returning home tired from the Herne Bay school trip - which involved 90 pupils visiting the beach and Seaside Museum - Ms Smith-Whiting had a nap before going to a friend's house.

Ms Smith-Whiting had been on a school trip to Herne Bay
Ms Smith-Whiting had been on a school trip to Herne Bay

It is thought she then got home at about 11.45pm and had her dinner before going to sleep.

Evidence from her fiancé Gavin Whiting heard how the family came to realise something was wrong.

"My daughter came into the room in the morning and she was saying to her mum, 'why is your arm cold'," he said.

"It dawned on me something was wrong.

"I noticed her face was purple."

The inquest was held at Archbishop's Palace
The inquest was held at Archbishop's Palace

Paramedics arrived at the house and declared Ms Smith-Whiting dead at the scene on June 29.

A medical statement read out to the court stated: "Lots of walking had caused her heart to work overtime and caused her to have a heart attack."

A pathology report concluded prescription drugs were found in her system, but they did not directly contribute to the unexpected medical episode.

Assistant coroner Kate Thomas concluded the cause of death as cardiac failure.

Read more: All the latest news from Herne Bay

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