The parents of 2-year-old Chloe Godding claimed that she died in her sleep after slipping on a marble floor and hitting her head, but a local medical examiner says that’s not what killed her, according to the Daily Mail.
On May 8, Chloe and her family of Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire, took a holiday trip to Portugal and resided at a seaside resort of Albufeira where her 33-year-old mother, Lucy, said she suddenly took a hard fall after slipping on a marble floor, landing on her head.
Afterwards Lucy, who is a qualified nurse, stated that the toddler stood “straight up at that point” and wasn’t “red at all, there was no bump or anything. I think she would say if she was hurting.” She went on to say that Chloe’s behavior seem to be normal after the fall, “eating dinner and reading a book” before falling asleep at 9 p.m., which is why she didn’t seek medical attention.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) December 9, 2015
However, when Lucy returned to the room at approximately 10 p.m. to check on her daughter to kiss her goodnight, she recalled a strong odor of feces exuding from Chloe’s bed, saying it was a bit peculiar as her daughter “had never opened her bowels.” As she approached her bed, she realized Chloe was lying face down on her pillow, “looking really uncomfortable.” At that point, Chloe’s father walked into the room, attempting to wake her by tapping her on the shoulder.
When the toddler didn’t move, he turned her over and discovered that her eyes were closed, but she was bleeding from her nose and her lips were blue. According to the Hampshire Chronicle, Lucy stated that they both screamed before she “grabbed her and ran into the living room to begin trying to resuscitate her. It all seemed hopeless.” That’s when the frantic mother “ran outside along the corridor screaming at people, saying ‘help me please, help me’” with her unresponsive daughter in her arms.
After waiting 30 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, little Chloe was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy was conducted where a Portuguese medical examiner supported the couple’s claim, saying the toddler fell on her head and she died in her sleep as a result of a severe head injury.
However, Dr. Samantha Holden disagreed with the pathologist’s findings, saying that she believe that “Chloe’s death wasn’t as a result of any trauma. It would be unusual without seeing a skull fracture or severe hemorrhage, which was not described in the initial post mortem report. Even after she had fallen she was acting quite normally.” When Dr. Holden performed an autopsy on the child, she did find bronchopneumonia on her lungs and sepsis, but she still couldn’t “definitely say this caused or led to her death.”
Toddler dies in her sleep after hitting head. https://t.co/YkQ7fLR0u3 pic.twitter.com/IkEAQA2L4Q
— MSN Ireland (@msnireland) December 10, 2015
Senior Coroner Grahame Short stated in court that Chloe’s “cause of death was unascertained.” He went on to say that “I do have some difficulty in this case. Chloe was an apparently healthy two-year-old girl on holiday with her family. She wasn’t showing any signs of illness but was a bit tired. It appears to me this was an accidental slip of some kind, but precisely what happened is unclear.”
“But upon hearing the evidence there is nothing to conclude that Chloe fell backwards and struck the back of her head in the way that seems to have been identified by the first post mortem.”
“Chloe Godding died due to an unascertained medical cause at around 5:30 p.m.,” Short continued. “I cannot think of anything worse than a death of this kind in the family. I can only give you my sympathy. It’s very unfortunate we haven’t come to a clear cause at the end of it.”
After Chloe Godding’s mysterious death, Lucy paid tribute to her daughter, saying “Chloe will always be our beautiful daughter, she was always smiling and a lover of life. We are obviously devastated that Chloe is no longer here with us and miss her every minute of every day. In such a heartbreaking and life changing tragedy, we try to take comfort in the fact that every day of Chloe’s life was a happy one for her.”
“She woke up every single day smiling and went to bed each night happy. She never had any worries in the world and was totally adored by her whole family. If love could have saved Chloe, she would have lived forever.”
Doctors and police officials, as well as the Chloe’s family, are perplexed as to how a healthy 2-year-old could have mysteriously died in her sleep without any clear indication of what caused her death.
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