Mum’s tribute to tragic Chesterfield son

Chesterfield coroner's court.
Chesterfield coroner's court.
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A much-loved 40-year-old man who had survived cancer sadly collapsed in Chesterfield and died of a heart attack as his partner and a friend battled to save his life.

Chesterfield coroner’s court heard during an inquest on Thursday, November 6, how IT consultant Craig Rutherford, of Westbourne Grove, Chesterfield, collapsed on a drive at Elm Place, near Chatsworth Road, Brampton, in the early hours of Sunday, August 3, following a visit to his friend’s home.

Friend Scott McKechnie and Mr Rutherford’s partner Emma Rodgers - who was called out to the incident - explained they phoned for an ambulance and tried to resuscitate Mr Rutherford before paramedics pronounced him dead.

Ms Rodgers, who got a call from Mr McKechnie to come because Mr Rutherford had collapsed, told the inquest: “Craig was laid there and I thought he had had a couple of drinks but after a couple of minutes we were concerned because we couldn’t get him to wake so I rang 999. They asked if he was breathing and I said ‘no’ and they asked me to do CPR but because Scott’s been in the army he started CPR straight away and I was on the phone for 12 minutes before the paramedics came.”

The inquest heard how paramedics also tried CPR for a long time and checked Mr Rutherford’s airway but he was pronounced dead at 4.05am about an hour after he had collapsed. Ms Rodgers said she and Mr Rutherford had had a normal Saturday and he had gone to his friend’s about 2.20am, on Sunday, and Mr McKechnie said Mr Rutherford became ill and as he helped him outside he collapsed.

Post mortem results confirmed there was no evidence of third party involvement or injuries and the cause of death was given as blocked arteries leading to a heart attack. Assistant Derbyshire coroner James Newman concluded Mr Rutherford died as a result of natural causes.

Mr Rutherford’s mother Marlene Rutherford said he was much-loved and he had bravely battled and survived cancer during his younger days and had been in remission for over ten years.

She told the inquest: “As he grew up he had cancer and lots of intensive treatment and it got to a stage where they couldn’t do any more but his brother helped and he ended up with marvellous treatment and he had been clear for eleven or ten years. He was always happy and I cannot remember him getting down. In his work they thought he was great and his humour was infectious. He always tried to help people and I couldn’t have wished for a better son.”