Girl, 7, Died Hours After Developing Chicken Pox

24/03/2014 18:55 | Updated 20 May 2015

Chicken pox


A healthy seven-year-old girl died suddenly just hours after developing chicken pox.

Nicole Murphy's lifeless body was found by her distraught dad Aaron, 29, just 24 hours after she broke out in spots on December 27 last year.

An inquest heard he had checked on his daughter several times during the night but found her unresponsive and not breathing in her bed at about 3am.

She was rushed from her home in Stourport, Worcestershire, to Worcestershire Royal Hospital by ambulance where she tragically died.

Stourport Coroners' Court heard yesterday how her death may have been triggered by a fit brought on by the chicken pox.

But Worcestershire deputy coroner Marguerite Elcock concluded Nicole died of unknown natural causes.

A pathologist was unable to provide an exact cause of death.

After the hearing, Aaron and his partner, Clare Rush, 29, spoke of their loss and told how they wanted to raise awareness of the complications that can be caused by the virus.

Aaron said: "We need more awareness that chicken pox is not just a harmless childhood illness.

"I had no idea it could cause the shut-down of organs, I thought the worst thing was it'll scar if you scratch them.

"I just can't comprehend how my daughter could have died of something that doctors describe as a simple illness.

"Nicole had been suffering quite badly and over the night, I kept hearing heavy breathing on the monitor and checking she was okay.

"She seemed to be just sleeping, but on the last time I came back to check I found she wasn't breathing. We did what we could.

"We came here looking for answers but we still don't really know for sure how she had died."

Aaron added: "I've heard of parents deliberately holding chickenpox parties where they bring their children into others who have the virus because they say it is better to get it as a child than an adult.

"But I hope this might urge others to think twice about these sort of things.

"She only broke out in spots the day before and we gave her Calpol like the doctors told us to do. But within 24 hours she was dead.

"We are absolutely heartbroken that we have lost our little girl but we don't want other mums and dads to go through the same."

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