Plumber says he’s solved riddle of tragic Derbyshire mum-of-seven

The mother of seven in Derbyshire, Laura Hogg, passed away suddenly at the beginning of this year.

Tragically, she was only 34 years old and the family has yet to find out why she was taken away from them at such a young age.

Now moved by her story and a desire to help, a plumber has reached out to a theory of what might have happened to Church Gresley’s Mrs. Hogg.

Paul Davis has his own tragic story.

He believes five members of his family have died of a rare condition that could stop his heart any moment now. Staffordshire Live reports.

Mr. Davis is suffering from a potentially fatal condition called Brugada syndrome and suspects that this may have been the cause of Mrs. Hogg’s premature death.

He believes her family should be tested as the condition is genetic and about a dozen members of Mr. Davis’s family suffer from it.

The heart defect went undiagnosed in his family for decades, and he believes the deaths of five of his family members could have been prevented if medics had discovered the condition.

His mother and sister died within months of each other.

Paul Davis, a plumber with Brugada syndrome who could at any moment make his heart stop, urges the family of Laura Hogg, a mother of seven from Swadlincote who died suddenly without explanation.  Pictured is sister Margaret Walsh, who died suddenly after collapsing in 1988.
Paul Davis, a plumber with Brugada syndrome who could at any moment make his heart stop, urges the family of Laura Hogg, a mother of seven from Swadlincote who died suddenly without explanation. Pictured is sister Margaret Walsh, who died suddenly after collapsing in 1988.

Before his own diagnosis eight years ago, the 65-year-old had collapsed several times, with his heart in overdrive.

On one occasion, it pumped at over 260 beats per minute. A healthy resting heart rate is between 60 and 100.

Some of his most serious medical episodes saw Mr. Davis go ‘gray’ and his wife, Jeanette, 66, believed he had died.

The father of three has now received an internal defibrillator to give his heart a boost when it stops working.

In the past decade, daughter Amy, 36, and brother Michael, 61, have been diagnosed family members.

But Mr. Davis’s heartbreak began in 1988, when Sister Margaret Walsh suddenly collapsed and died at the age of 34.

Just a few months later, mother Maude Davis also collapsed and died at the age of 64.

Mr. Davis said, “That part of my life has just become a blur because it was so devastated with death.

Paul Davis, a plumber with Brugada syndrome who could at any moment make his heart stop, urges the family of Laura Hogg, a mother of seven from Swadlincote who died suddenly without explanation.  Pictured is mother Maude, who collapsed in 1989 and died suddenly.
Paul Davis, a plumber with Brugada syndrome who could at any moment make his heart stop, urges the family of Laura Hogg, a mother of seven from Swadlincote who died suddenly without explanation. Pictured is mother Maude, who collapsed in 1989 and died suddenly.

“I was very close to my sister and I was heartbroken when she died; when I lost my mother it was just too much to take in – it was completely overwhelming.

“I just remember going into my garage and collapsing, crying. I took myself away because I didn’t want my kids to see me like that. It really was the worst time of my life.”

In 2013 – around the time he was tested for Brugada syndrome – Mr. Davis subsequently lost cousin Maria Farrell, 38, in similar circumstances.

And after researching his family history, Mr. Davis found that his uncle and grandfather – Thomas and Anthony O’Shea – had also died of a sudden collapse in 1947 and 1956, respectively.

Their deaths were both caused by blood clots around the heart, which are known to affect some Brugada patients.

Mr. Davis said, “My grandfather, uncle, mother and sister had no chance, as Brugada syndrome was not recognized until around 1992.

“They all had causes of death on their death certificates – mother had a heart attack, Margaret’s was related to diabetes and Maria’s was a seizure, while she didn’t even have epilepsy (seizures are sometimes a symptom of Brugada syndrome).

Paul Davis, a plumber with Brugada syndrome who could at any moment make his heart stop, urges the family of Laura Hogg, a mother of seven from Swadlincote who died suddenly without explanation.  Pictured are Paul (right) and brother Michael, who also has Brugada.
Paul Davis, a plumber with Brugada syndrome who could at any moment make his heart stop, urges the family of Laura Hogg, a mother of seven from Swadlincote who died suddenly without explanation. Pictured are Paul (right) and brother Michael, who also has Brugada.

But I’m now convinced it was Brugada syndrome, especially considering that about a dozen of us in my family, including nieces and nephews, have been diagnosed.

“It cuts me inside, this can take generations before a link is made.

And when I read about Laura’s death in Swadlincote, it really upset me. I would urge the family to see if they can get checked for Brugada. ‘

Paul, who lives in Denton, Manchester, has previously volunteered at nearby Wythenshawe Hospital, helping people with heart conditions and those with internal defibrillators.

Paul and Jeanette are also raising money to fit defibrillators in schools in Manchester and have helped schools to date including Greswell Primary School and Corry Primary School in Denton.

Information about Brugada syndrome

A spokesperson for the NHS said: “Brugada syndrome is a rare but serious condition that affects the way electrical signals pass through the heart.

“It can cause the heart to beat dangerously fast. These unusually fast heartbeats – also called arrhythmias – can sometimes be life-threatening.

“Brugada syndrome is usually caused by a faulty gene inherited by a child from a parent. A simple heart test can be done to see if you have it.”

A police officer uses a ram to smash the door of the property

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Patients are often unaware that they have Brugada and may experience seizures, blackouts, palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness.

People with close relatives who have died suddenly without any explanation are advised to get tested for Brugada syndrome.

Ms. Hogg’s family has been contacted for comment.

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