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Mum ‘relieved’ after inquest concludes 15 years after baby son’s death

PUBLISHED: 16:08 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:39 02 October 2020

Riyad Ali shortly after birth Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Riyad Ali shortly after birth Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

The mother of a baby boy who died at just a day old has said she is “relieved” that his death was not directly linked to a genetic condition, after 15 years of guilt.

Riyad Ali with his family Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYRiyad Ali with his family Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Riyad Ali was born on July 15, 2005 by natural delivery at Ipswich Hospital and weighed just 4.8lbs.

After initially receiving normal, healthy scores for his heart rate and blood sugars he deteriorated quickly and died the following day.

Riyad’s mother, Bilkis Ali, said that in 2005 she was told her son’s death had been caused by a metabolism fault caused by a genetic condition likely to have resulted from her “cousin marriage”.

However, an inquest into his death which concluded today at Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich, found that the cause could not be directly linked to a genetic mutation.

Senior Coroner Nigel Parsley concluded that Riyad died of metabolic acidosis of an unknown origin, but added that the cause of the illness was natural.

Mrs Ali, said: “It is of great relief to us that this inquest has finally concluded and that, having blamed ourselves for all these years, the conclusion is that there was no evidence that genetic factors caused Riyad’s death.

“We are saddened that there were failures in care by the Trust that meant that Riyad was deprived of the chance of diagnosis and treatment.

“We continue to consult with our legal team at Shoosmiths to consider the next steps but at this stage our inclination is to pursue a civil claim.”

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Mystery still surrounds the one-day-old’s cause of death after a number of specialists failed to find a definitive answer due to “insufficient evidence”.

At a hearing in January, which was adjourned for further investigation, evidence was given by specialist doctors who said they believed Riyad died as a consequence of metabolic problems. However, questions over the time a blood sample was taken - the results of which were cited by the medical professionals - cast doubt over the cause of death.

The condition meant his body struggled to produce energy from the mitochondria within his cells.

Due to the diagnosis, no post-mortem examination took place and it was not until 2015 that Mrs Ali found out a serious incident investigation had been carried out without her knowledge - at which point she requested for an inquest to take place.

It was said that further testing by an endocrinologist was needed before an accurate conclusion could be reached.

However, at the hearing today, endocrinologist Dr Rachel Williams of Addenbrookes Hospital said there was no evidence to suggest that Riyad had died as the consequence of adrenal insufficiency.

Dr Michael Champion, consultant in children’s inherited metabolic diseases, said that he could not give a medical cause of death due to “insufficient evidence”.

Genetic testing could not identify a known inherited disease which would have caused the illness and therefore the origin could not be ascertained.


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