The death of a St Helens schoolgirl who had a rare undetected heart defect was a tragedy nobody could have prevented, an inquest heard.
Haydock High pupil Shivohn Watson, 13, died in hospital on March 3 last year - less than two hours after suffering a fit at her home.
An inquest held at Whiston Hospital last week confirmed that Shivohn died of natural causes.
Shivohn’s mum, Beverley, told how the defect in one of the valves of her daughter’s heart was so rare that only 50 similar cases had been found worldwide.
She said: “Even if we had taken her to the doctor it would have taken months and months to find the problem. But there was never any reason to think there was anything wrong - Shivohn was a happy, fit and healthy young girl.
“She had had a couple of dizzy spells in the six months before she died and, in the fortnight before she died, she told me a couple of times that her heart was racing - but nobody could have done anything to prevent what happened. There were no major warning signs.
“The heart defect was so rare that the coroner had to get a report from California in order to put together the information they needed. He had never even heard of it before.”
Beverley said she had found the inquest process “helpful” but admitted that, nearly 14 months on, she was still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
She added: “It’s been the toughest year of life but I think it’s going to be a very long journey coming to terms with this.
“Shivohn would have turned 15 in July. That’s really tough for me to think about because the last time I saw her she was 13 and there’s a big difference between being 13 and being 15.
“The tragedy is that Shivohn never got the chance to develop into the person she was going to be.
“To live for just 13 years is nothing really.”
Since Shivohn’s death, her family have held several fundraising events to boost their campaign to buy potentially life-saving defibrillators for local schools.
Beverley plans to hold another fundraiser at the Primrose Vaults pub this summer and is in negotiations with Shivohn’s school about purchasing a defibrillator for them with the money that has already been raised.