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Man, 28, dies 36 hours after complaining of running nose

Man, 28, dies 36 hours after complaining of running nose

"We only thought he was going to hospital to get some antibiotics"

A 28-year-old man tragically died just 36 hours after complaining of a running nose.

Rhys Leatherbarrow's sister Kami has spoken of the heartbreak the sudden loss has caused their family.

Last month, Kami treated her younger brother to chicken and chips to cheer him up after he was feeling unwell with a headache and runny nose.

But less than two days later on 23 December, Rhys passed away in hospital. The cause of death was found to be multiple organ failure due to pneumonia and two cardiac arrests.

Kami told the Manchester Evening News: "We’re still waiting for him to come out from behind his bedroom door.

"He would always come out and wind me up.

Rhys Leatherbarrow tragically passed away on 23 December.
MEN Media

"Now you’re looking around thinking, 'There’s no noise and there should be,' even down to the middle of the night when I could hear him listening to his Alexa or creeping around."

Rhys, from Wigan, UK, had autism and was registered blind, and he was was due to attend his adult service programme when he began feeling unwell.

But Kami explained that there was 'nothing out of the ordinary' on the day he was rushed to hospital.

"He got up and was all happy and giggly and told us his plans for the day," she said. "He was causing mischief and he was healthy, fit and well."

"He came home and complained of a headache and sniffly nose. We gave him two paracetamols and said he could stay home from adult services which he was happy about.

"The next day, after I gave him some chicken and chips, I saw his bedroom door was open. I thought, 'He’s eaten that quick.'

"I went in and he collapsed on me, I shouted my friend and I literally had to drag him to his bed so I could get him in a safe position."

His sister Kami has spoken of the heartbreak the loss has caused the family.
MEN Media

After calling the emergency services, the 28-year-old was rushed to hospital and within two hours he experienced two cardiac arrests and was placed on life support.

But his condition continued to deteriorate as sepsis caused his organs to shut down, and Rhys' family including Kami and his mum and dad, Janis and John, were called to his bedside.

Kami explained: "They took us into the family room and spoke to us and said all his organs were shutting down.

"Within six hours, he passed. It was so sudden but so shocking at the same time.

"We weren’t expecting it. We only thought he was going to hospital to get some antibiotics. [Janis and John] are broken – they can’t put it into words.

"This was a shock to myself and his mum, dad and other family members and friends. Rhys was a happy, loving young man.

"He loved being around people and making them laugh – most of all getting his sister into trouble."

She went on to say Rhys was 'cheeky, mischievous and witty', and was a fan of the theatre and film, especially Disney.

He also loved Christmas, with Kami adding: "Rhys’ time of year was Christmas. So this year we felt like it wasn’t a celebration. Next year, we’re going to make it a celebration.

"He has a snowman with a countdown to Christmas on it and to this day it says the 23rd.

Rhys was described as 'cheeky, mischievous and witty'.
MEN Media

"It’s not getting changed because he changed it himself that day and we’re going to keep it at that all year round because it’s a bit of Rhys.

"He touched a big part of everyone’s lives. I couldn’t fault the hospital at all; they accepted all of his needs and understood everything. He got every bit of care he could have.

"It was a very sudden and quick loss. From falling ill to passing, it was less than 36 hours. We are literally in a daze."

A funeral was held for Rhys on Wednesday (11 January), and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family to pay for the funeral costs. You can donate here.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: MEN Media

Topics: UK News, Health