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Man, 22, dies just weeks after complaining of migraines and being tired

Man, 22, dies just weeks after complaining of migraines and being tired

Johnny Alfrey passed away after being told his symptoms were likely due to 'anxiety'

A student tragically died just weeks after medics brushed off his migraines as symptoms of 'anxiety'.

An inquest held on Thursday (5 January) examined the incidents leading up to Johnny Alfrey's death in June last year.

Johnny's mum Julie Alfrey told those present at Rochdale Coroner’s Court that her 22-year-old son, from Littleborough, Greater Manchester, began complaining of fatigue and feeling 'heaviness in his legs' when walking the month prior to his passing.

In the following days, he started vomiting and experiencing intense migraines, and was struggling to sleep or eat.

Julie took her son to an urgent clinic at Rochdale Infirmary on 23 May, only for him to collapse while waiting to be seen.

"He was wet with sweat and his lips were blue," she said. "I had to run to find somebody. He was slumped in his chair and they took him straight through."

Johnny Alfrey tragically passed away last year.
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One doctor suggested the symptoms may have been down to alcohol withdrawal. However, Julie said her son wasn't a heavy drinker.

Although tests showed he had an irregular heart rhythm, this was said to be 'probably benign' as he was so young.

Johnny was then referred to Fairfield General Hospital in Bury for more in-depth examinations, but at this point, Julie said his lips and fingers had 'turned blue'.

She went on to claim a night nurse urged Johnny to leave as if he stayed he would 'likely to be on a corridor overnight’.

The inquest heard how both Fairfield General Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary were impacted by an IT failure at the time.

Two days later, Johnny was rushed to A&E - once again, despite the clear signs he was unwell, he was allegedly told by a doctor that the symptoms most likely resulted from 'a mental health issue'.

She continued: "He said to me: 'This is anxiety. He is having panic attacks. We can’t treat anxiety here. You can’t bring him back with these symptoms.' I was being fobbed off."

A few days later, Johnny headed to Rochdale Infirmary once more where further tests showed he had 'abnormal liver function' and he was sent to hospital again, only to be discharged on 31 May where things deteriorated.

"He couldn’t stand up," said Julie. "He was screaming, 'Help me, mum. Help me. What is wrong with me? I’m dying.'"

Johnny's dad Chris Charnley was similarly worried about his son's inability to sleep or eat.

The 22-year-old was sent back to hospital on 8 June, at which point doctors told the mum that her son's liver had failed and 'now his kidneys had taken a hit'.

An inquest into the death and the days leading up to it was held at Rochdale Coroner’s Court.
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Chris said: "He kept asking me if he was going to die. He just wanted to hold my hand, he wouldn’t let go."

Despite the chaos that was unfolding, doctors were still unable to determine what was wrong with Johnny. He was eventually sent to Wythenshawe Hospital before dying on 24 June.

Dr Moataz Adnan, a consultant in emergency medicine at Fairfield General Hospital, told the inquest that the irregular heart beat was not believed to be related to his symptoms and that his palpitations weren't 'abnormal', hence why staff put it down to anxiety.

But he did say that Johnny should have been seen by a cardiologist after tests showed his heart rhythm had deteriorated.

In tribute to her son, Julie said: "He was kind-hearted and gracious. He never had a bad word to say about anybody. He was looking forward to the rest of his life and had big plans.

"He was just a brilliant young man, so funny and a great big brother and a perfect son."

Featured Image Credit: MEN Media

Topics: UK News, Health, NHS, Mental Health