Our son, Andrew Neil Mogg, died on 14th June 2009 while out running – one day after his 22nd birthday.
Andrew had always been a fit, healthy young man who was always out running or at the gym. He started to get palpitations in September 2008. He went to the Medical Centre and had an ECG whereupon they said that there were some abnormalities and made him an appointment at the hospital for further investigations.
He had another ECG, a running test, an Echocardiogram and four heart monitors from that time until his death. None of the tests indicated that he had signs of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and at no time did they tell him to cut down on his physical activities (whilst they continued to try and find an explanation for his palpitations).
In March 2009 he had been feeling unwell and his brother called me home from work because he had found Andrew in a confused state in the house that they share together. It was like he had had a slight stroke – he could not get his words out and was unable to use his mobile or text.
He was very upset so I took him to the hospital but they sent us back to our local Medical Centre where the doctor gave him some codeine tablets.
Andrew moved in with me for a couple of days as he was on holiday from work and his brother was going away, so I wanted to keep an eye on him. He had a call from the doctor a couple of days after to say he had made him an appointment at another hospital to have a CT scan; and Andrew said the doctor seemed to be a bit more concerned about what had happened to him.
I took him to the appointment – the doctor said that the hospital were expecting him and he would be in and out quickly. When we got there, Andrew was put on a ward with old stroke patients which frightened him a bit as he was not expecting this.
We were not really given any information about what was going on – they took Andrew’s particulars and I filled them in on what had happened to him three days previously. They seemed to think it had just happened…
We were left waiting for a few hours without being told anything. Andrew was getting very agitated and I had to calm him down. When I asked the nurse she said he probably would not be seen until tomorrow and he would be staying overnight. Andrew had had enough and ripped off his monitors himself (which they had attached previously) and walked out of the hospital.
He never got another appointment or another referral.
Although after a few weeks he seemed back to normal, he was still getting bad palpitations which I witnessed as I had been to the gym with him. You could see the throbbing in his neck, then he said it felt like an explosion and his heart beat would go back to normal. The hospital had made an appointment for an MRI scan for July 2009, but he had already passed away by then.
As his mother I feel I should have been more pushy and should have known that Andrew was not right, but you put your faith in the doctors and hospitals.
I know that Andrew probably did not help himself and put a few of his appointments back to another date as he had just started a new job and made sure they fitted in with his shifts; but I don’t think the hospital or doctor at any time stressed that there could be something quite seriously wrong with him.
They just kept telling Andrew how fit he was and that they could not find anything from the tests.
Surely his first ECG – which showed abnormalities – and the palpitations and stroke-like symptoms meant that there was something wrong?
Andrew (in the blue life jacket) with friends
We are left with all these unanswered questions and “what ifs?” – and most importantly we are left without Andrew, whom we loved so much.