Student Sent Text Saying His Body Felt 'Crippled' Before Dying While Nursing Severe Hangover
A straight-A university student died as he nursed a severe hangover following a night out with a fellow undergraduate, an inquest heard.
Nathaniel Isaac, 20, had been out drinking in the run up to New Year and the following day sent a text to a friend saying: ''My body feels crippled lol.''
The youngster was found dead in bed five days later at his student flat in Hulme, Greater Manchester, by a security guard after his family raised concerns about his welfare.
During a 20 month investigation into the tragedy, extensive tests were carried out to find out how Nathaniel died but experts were enable to establish a cause of death.
Police even investigated claims from Nathaniel's dad who believed that his son was poisoned with arsenic by fellow students.
But no trace of the toxic substance could be found in his system and a pathologist ruled out any suspicious circumstances. Inquiries revealed his body had remained undiscovered for several days before he was found dead on 5 January 2018.
The Manchester hearing was told Nathaniel, who lived with his family on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, was described as a 'model student' and had been in his first year of a Business and Computer Engineering course at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).
Fellow student Jonny Speight, 21, told the inquest: ''He was extremely academic and clever - he always had top marks in class. He was well liked by all the professors that taught him. He was a straight-A student who had time to socialise and go out with his friends.
"At Christmas 2017, I was at work back in my home town and I believe he made plans to go out on New Year and stay in Manchester. The last time I spoke to him was over Snapchat on 31 December. He had been out the night before with a course mate whilst I had been at work. He had been out in Manchester and he said: 'my body feels crippled lol'.
''I assumed by the 'lol' that he was hungover from the night before as there were no other health problems as far as I knew. But that was the last message he sent me."
Det Insp Gavin Smith of Greater Manchester Police said: ''There were two tissues stuffed up both of Nathaniel's nostrils as if for a nose bleed but there was no evidence of trauma or any physical attack. A security guard and one of his friends had gone into his room and found him. He was in the room which was locked from the inside.''
Police Coroners Officer Ian Taylor added:''It felt like a natural cause of death. We turned on the TV in his room and the PlayStation was on standby mode and this is the last thing we presumed he had been doing. His father came to the UK after the death of his son and he was deeply suspicious about the cause of his son's death.
''My attempt at reassurance didn't stop or change his suspicions and he made me aware of the different methods and different people who were involved in some way. They were not specific and not based on evidence, they were speculative - but his father suggested he may have poisoned by arsenic.
''After correspondence with him, somebody purporting to be a doctor told us the discolouration in his fingers and toes might be an indication of someone who may have been poisonings by arsenic. Nathaniel's father then sent me pictures of his son's hands and feet and stated that a doctor said this was signs of arsenic poisoning. I did take some statements but got nothing that would confirm this.
''There was never any reason or evidence put forward to suggest anybody had any reason to harm Nathaniel. He seemed to be the model student, a perfect young man, normal, a likeable man, and I didn't find one person who didn't refer to him in a way different to the glowing person he was. It can be very hard for a parent to believe this happened to their loved one. They desperately seek some explanation for what happened."
Miriam Mkumbwa - Operations Manager at MMU said: ''One of our customer service advisors received a phone call from Nathaniel's father who was concerned about his whereabouts. One of our security maintenance officers went to the flat. He knocked on the door to no reply and entered the room with a master key.
''The fob had not been used to enter the room since Nathaniel locked it from the inside the room at 2.58am on 31 December and then it was not accessed again until by the security officer at 9.51am on 5 January. There were no other activations since then."
Recording a conclusion of death by natural causes, coroner Nigel Meadows said: "It is not uncommon for people to be found deceased in places such as hotels, private accommodation, flats and houses. Nathaniel was an academic and gifted student, hard working and a conscientious person, who was performing well. He had had no altercations, fights or other circumstances with anyone.
''He was social, he went to the gym, he drank alcohol but did not take illicit drugs. There was contact with Mr Speight on 31 December, where he simply suggests he's feeling unwell through the interpretation of the message: 'my body feels crippled' and he couldn't go anywhere.
''But the exact reason why he was feeling like that he doesn't specify. He was last seen leaving early to mid evening on December 30 and returning in the early hours of December 31.
"Whilst Nathaniel's death was unexpected, there was no suspicious circumstances. It is not uncommon for people to be found dead with no obvious explanation for their deaths.
''Sometimes people who are young and healthy die suddenly and unexpectedly and it's not entirely clear why it's happening.''
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