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Maidstone gentle giant Liam Batten died of SADS in sudden and unexplained heart attack

By William Janes

A 24-year-old described as a gentle giant tragically died after suffering an unexplained heart attack.

Liam Batten, of Langton Way in Tovil, passed away despite desperate efforts to revive him by both his family and paramedics.

The young man, who had suffered from agoraphobia since he was 15-years-old, woke up in the night complaining of back pain and took some ibuprofen but soon after vomited before falling asleep.

24-year-old Liam Batten died in April during the night in April
24-year-old Liam Batten died in April during the night in April

His mother, Joy Brooker, noticed he stopped snoring and realised he had become unresponsive. She performed CPR herself and called an ambulance but Mr Batten could not be saved.

A post mortem report summarised at an inquest which opened this week concluded he died of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome, also known as SADS, a heart attack with no detectable cause.

However, his mum and step-dad aren't satisfied with the result.

The couple believe the doubling of his dose of an antidepressant, Sertraline, nine days before his death in July could have contributed.

"I could be looking at it from the wrong angle because I’m angry and it could be a coincidence but the question is still there," said Joy.

The mum of three hopes to raise her concerns at a full inquest into his death set to take place on January 16 at Archbishop's Palace in Mill Street, Maidstone.

In the meantime she cherishes the memories of the boy she says was "one in a million".

The last picture the video game fan took of himself
The last picture the video game fan took of himself

“He was big, he was friendly, and he was my giant. He was a whole load of love,” she said.

"He was very, very clever. He got distinctions at school, I don’t know where he got it from. He loved everything about computers, he would strip them down and if anyone had a problem with theirs he would fix it.”

Because of his struggles with agoraphobia, the young tech whiz spent all his time indoors. However, this didn't stop him from being much loved and popular.

"He did online gaming and had YouTube channels. He didn’t have many physical friends but he had so many online. It’s been amazing receiving condolence cards from people all over the world,” said Joy.

“He was a gentle giant, never had a row with anyone in his life and had a wicked, dry sense of humour.”

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