Darley Dale runner was killed by undiagnosed heart problem

Darren Hibbert, of Darley Dale died at the age of 46 as a result of an undaignosed heart condition.
Darren Hibbert, of Darley Dale died at the age of 46 as a result of an undaignosed heart condition.

A 46-year-old marathon runner who died suddenly on New Year’s Day is likely to have had an undiagnosed heart condition, an inquest heard.

Darren Hibbert, of Oker Avenue, Darley Dale, was found dead in bed on the morning of January 1, 2016, by his wife, Deanne, 61.

Darren's wife Deanne, 61, and stepdaughter, Lisa King, 36, have had bracelets which include a photo of him.

Darren's wife Deanne, 61, and stepdaughter, Lisa King, 36, have had bracelets which include a photo of him.

He had been out the previous night and had gone to bed at around 2am. He had not complained of any health problems in the days leading up to his death.

Dr Danesh Taraporewala, consultant pathologist at Chesterfield Royal, said there was nothing in the post-mortem that could easily explain Darren’s death.

He said that his heart was ‘slightly enlarged’ and that his arteries were somewhat ‘furry’ but that neither of these problems were ‘acute’.

Toxicology tests also showed nothing that could cause such a sudden death.

In recording a verdict of natural causes, coroner Dr Robert Hunter said: “The fact that Darren died in his sleep indicates a cardiac cause.

“However, as the post-mortem results shows nothing acute, I am left to conclude that Darren suffered from one of the family of conditions that can cause Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).”

SADS kills adults between the ages of 30 and 50 who suffer from inherited conditions which affect the electrical impulses in the heart.

As the conditions often run in families, the coroner gave Darren’s family information about screening programmes that can check for them.

Speaking after the hearing, Darren’s widow Deanne paid tribute to her ‘funny’ husband who was ‘always smiling’.

She said he loved holidays, particularly to America, and had hoped to go to Las Vegas later this year.

A keen runner, Darren had taken part in a number of charity half marathons for his friend, Simon Taylor, who was suffering from cancer.

Now, in a tragic role reversal, Simon will run the Manchester 10k in memory of Darren, along with a dozen of his family and friends.

To donate to their appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/Simon-Taylor73.