Bildeston/Hadleigh: Rugby player Joshua died of natural causes

Josh Rix

Josh Rix - Credit: Archant

A RUGBY player collapsed and died in Australia after flying out to visit his critically-ill mother in a double tragedy, an inquest heard.

Father-of-one Joshua Rix, 23, of Newbury Road, Bildeston, died on January 12 after travelling to Perth in Western Australia to be with his seriously-ill mother.

His parents, Nick and Judy, had travelled Down Under to visit their daughter Rebecca and while there Mr Rix’s mother suffered a stroke and was admitted to hospital.

The inquest was told Mr Rix and his brother, Tim, rushed to be with their parents but their mother had suffered a second stroke and died just four hours before they touched down.

A few days later, the day after his mother was cremated, Mr Rix collapsed and died. Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said post-mortem examinations were carried out in Australia and in the UK.

The post mortem in Australia showed Mr Rix had an enlarged heart, congested lungs and a high BMI (body mass index) and gave natural causes as the reason for death.

A statement from Dr John Flather, of Hadleigh and Boxford group practice, which was read by Dr Dean, described Mr Rix as a “keen rugby and cricket player”. The last time he visited his GP was in November 2012 for a rugby injury.

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The UK post mortem revealed Mr Rix died from cardiomyopathy – a thickening of the heart muscle.

Dr Dean said: “The cause of death in these tragic circumstances was sudden and unexpected. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time following this double tragedy.”

Mr Rix, who went to Hadleigh High School, was a keen sportsman and played as prop for Sudbury Rugby Club and for Hadleigh Cricket Club during the summer.

He leaves behind his partner Mel and son Alfie as well as family in Hadleigh.

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