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Friday, 31 March, 2000, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Boy died after playground kickabout
University Hospital of Wales
The boy was taken to the University Hospital of Wales
An inquest has heard how a 10-year-old boy died after a kickaround with friends in his school playground.

Ben Marks fell ill as he played football during the school lunchbreak on his first day back since Christmas - with no-one realising he suffered from a rare heart condition.

He went into school complaining of chest pains and was sent for a glass of water before collapsing in his classroom.

He was a pupil at Birchgrove Primary School in Cardiff which his six-year-old sister Lauren also attends.

Schoolteacher Linda Ogden told the inquest in Cardiff how Ben had been playing soccer with his friends just minutes before he collapsed.

She said: "He appeared to be his normal self and was bright and cheerful.

"At lunchtime he had played football and scored three goals. But afterwards he told me he had a pain in his chest.

Rare heart condition

"I told him to get a drink of water because he may have had trouble eating.

"Later, I heard the other children at his desk laughing saying that Ben had fallen off his seat."

The inquest heard Ben had collapsed and that an ambulance was called as his breathing deteriorated.

The teacher gave him the kiss-of-life before the ambulance arrived, but Ben died later at the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff.

Pathologist Ed Lazda said Ben suffered from a rare heart condition called cardiac rhabdomyoma - which caused extra growth in his heart muscle triggering the irregular heartbeat.

Cardiff Coroner Lawrence Addicott recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

His parents, Peter and Ceri Marks, of Birchgrove, Cardiff, were too upset to attend the inquest.

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