A British 21-year-old student collapsed and died in the gym after a workout due to suffering a sudden and unexpected heart attack.
Henry Best of Bristol, UK, died suddenly at a gym in January, the inquest into his death heard last week.
It was noted that the gym wasn’t properly staffed and the paramedics had trouble getting to the site.
However, the coroner stated that the heart attack was so severe that it was unlikely that Best could have been saved, even if he was treated immediately.
The coroner, Dr. Peter Harrowing, told the hearing that the 21-year-old Bristol University music student was “fit and healthy” when he collapsed during his workout.
However, Harrowing said he believes Best died because he likely had an undiagnosed heart condition, the Bristol Post reported.
Best and his girlfriend, Holly Jones, were working out at PureGym in Bristol on January 10.
He collapsed about an hour into the workout, around 11:30 p.m., the Bristol World reported.
Jones’s written statement regarding the death of her boyfriend was read at the hearing.
“I’d picked up a yoga mat, and as I turned around Henry said he felt really faint,” her statement read, Bristol World reported.
“He looked really pale, and then fell on his front to the floor.
“His nose was bleeding, and he started shaking, but appeared to still be breathing.
“Two men entered the room soon after.
“Both quickly called 999 [emergency services] and one left his phone with me before going to look for help,” she added.
After collapsing, Best was pronounced dead around 12:40 p.m. the next day.
The paramedics did struggle to find the location and there was only one staff member working at the gym, Bristol World reported.
Best’s girlfriend performed “effective CPR” and the paramedics used a defibrillator once they arrived, but it was too late.
And though Best’s death was ruled to be from the natural causes of the heart condition, his sister Hannah Best spoke at the inquest, saying that she wanted lessons to be learned from his death so that 24-hour gyms would take better safety precautions.
The family was concerned about the lack of staff at the gym.
Even though the paramedics arrived quickly, it took them an extra six minutes to reach Best since they had to retrieve equipment, the Bristol Post reported.
“It is heartbreaking to lose your loved one in a place that you perceive as very safe,” Hannah said, Bristol World reported.
“The pain we have felt is immense and if we can prevent one more family going through this then that is what we would like.”
Best’s mother, Dr. Louise Best, also issued a statement on behalf of the whole family, remembering the good intentions of her son.
“Had someone else collapsed in the gym on that day, I do not hesitate to believe that Henry would have used his skills in first aid to help them,” she said, according to Bristol World.
However, after the coroner ruled that Best died from heart failure, he made no further comment about the safety measures of the gym, Bristol World reported.
In comments during the inquest, Dr. Harrowing acknowledged that the staffing issue at the gym may have caused confusion, but that would not have changed the outcome of Best’s sudden collapse.
“I agree there were some issues relating to misunderstanding the staffing or unstaffed situation,” Harrowing said, according to Bristol World.
“For the avoidance of doubt, on the balance of probabilities I do not consider whether the gym was staffed or unstaffed as having contributed to the cause of death,” he added.