A 14-month-old boy died on a family sunshine holiday less than 24 hours after he had been happily splashing in a hotel pool, an inquest has heard.
Tragic Alfie Brown had been perfectly healthy the day before his death as he and his family basked at the Playa de las Americas resort in Tenerife.
His mum Stephanie Ballantine, 19, told the inquest how the tiny tot had been swimming all day before tragedy struck one week into their getaway.
Distraught Stephanie woke to find little Alfie lifeless and unresponsive in his cot the next morning.
Despite efforts to revive him nothing could be done to save the toddler and he was pronounced dead by Canary Island medics.
An inquest at Smethwick Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday Alfie had been on holiday with Stephanie and his grandparents when tragedy struck on December 28 last year.
Black Country coroner Robin Balmain told Stephanie and Alfie’s dad Matthew Brown their son’s sudden death had been due to natural causes.
He said: “There is nothing unnatural about his death. It’s terribly distressing, I understand that, but it’s not unnatural.
“I am really sorry that this has happened to you. I can’t imagine what a shock it was to you both.”
Grief-stricken Stephanie, from Halesowen, West Mids., who is pregnant with her second child, told the inquest she had noticed no problems when she put Alfie to bed.
She said: “It was completely sudden.
“I put him to bed the night before and found him the next morning.”
She added that Alfie had breezed through his medical check-ups since he was born.
Consultant perinatal pathologist Dr Philip Cox said Alfie’s post-mortem revealed he had probably died from a chest infection he had picked up at home.
He said: “It appears to have come on very quickly, but was widespread.
“We didn’t manage to find out what the organism causing the infection was.”
Dr Cox added it was unlikely that Alfie picked up an exotic foreign virus and told the inquest there were a number of ‘nasty infections’ he could have picked up at home.
He said it was ‘probably more likely’ that Alfie was killed by a bacterial infection, he told the inquest.
He recorded the cause of death as bronchitis with bronchial pneumonia.
Verdict: natural causes.