A six-year-old girl unexpectedly died only hours after her father tucked her into bed recently outside Manchester, England, with the cause of her death still unconfirmed months later.
The girl, Isla Hutton, was behaving oddly when her father, David, put her to bed, he told the Manchester Evening News.
“She climbed into bed but wouldn’t settle down,” David Hutton said. “It was just desperation because I knew something wasn’t right.”
He rushed her to the hospital, but she died within hours on Oct. 8.
David Hutton said time seemed to “flash by, but it was like slow motion” as he sat by his dying daughter in the hospital.
“I was by her side in hospital the whole time,” he said. “I wouldn’t have wanted her to be suffering. If she came back around, I wanted her to still be the happy little girl she was. She was the happiest little girl you could have ever met.”
The cause of her death still isn’t known, the Evening News reported Sunday. But it’s thought that a pre-existing heart condition triggered either cardiac arrest or a seizure.
Soon after she was born, Isla Hutton was diagnosed with long QT syndrome. The disorder can cause rapid, irregular heartbeats, sudden fainting and seizures, and gives young people an increased risk of sudden death, according to the Mayo Clinic.
She spent nearly a year in the hospital after being born and fitted with a pacemaker.
Over the course of her short life, she became a mascot of sorts for a company working to treat long QT called Thryv Therapeutics. She helped the company secure more than $15 million for its research, the Evening News reported.
The company described Isla Hutton as “our inspiration to break barriers and move as fast as we can.”
David Hutton is raising money for child patients at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, a key UK center for child heart surgery. He has already raised £1,206, and more can be contributed here.