A family has urged young people to get screened for heart conditions after a teenager died from an undetected abnormality.
Darwen Vale High School pupil Rebecca Duxbury, or Becky as she was known, was found dead in her bed at the family home in Lady Close, Lower Darwen.
An inquest heard Becky had complained of being unwell when she went to bed at 9.30pm on Tuesday October 2. Her body was found the following morning.
By process of elimination, the cause of the Darwen Ladies junior footballer’s death was probably an abnormal cardiac rhythm, an inquest heard.
Dr Melanie Newbold, consultant paediatric pathologist at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, said a post-mortem examination had revealed no evidence of infection, metabolic disease, drugs or bio-chemical disorder.
Becky had been picked up from school, where she had been playing netball, by her father Ray Duxbury, 39, a police dog handler for Greater Manchester Police, on October 2.
Mr Duxbury said: “She was a 13-year-old lass, full of life.
“It’s a massive, massive shock, something we will never really get over.
“There is nothing in our family’s history but we have been advised to seek medical advice to find out if it was a one off.
“We would like to thank our beautiful daughter Rebecca Louise Duxbury for allowing us to be part of her short life. We are very proud of her and miss her dearly.”
Becky’s mother, Vanessa Clark, 37, who is hoping to return to work as a cashier in Tesco Metro, Blackburn, on Monday, said: “She was very outgoing, bubbly and friendly.
“Once you met her you would never forget her.
“She was very sporty and would try her hand at anything.
“She played for Darwen Ladies Football Club for four and a half years and she was very popular in school.
“I keep asking why this happened. She wanted to go to university, get a good job and make us proud. She loved life.
A national charity, CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young, hold regular heart screenings across the UK to test for abnormalities.
Mr Duxbury added: “The inquest has helped find a little bit of peace.
“No-one should have to go through what we have been through. Everyone should be tested.
“We never stop thinking about her and the name of the charity CRY, is quite apt, as we have never stopped crying ever since this happened.
“We have to keep going for our other children.”
Becky had two younger brothers, Scott, 12, and Josh, five.
Deputy coroner Carolyn Singleton recorded a natural causes verdict.