Singing girl, 9, who dreamed of being next Cheryl Cole, died ‘without warning’ from Muamba-style cardiac arrest

An active Manchester girl, 9, who dreamt of being like Cheryl Cole collapsed and died without warning after she sang and danced every day unaware she had a heart condition.

Kate Livesey wanted to go on X Factor and would record songs and regularly dance around her family home.

But she was found slumped in the bath after being struck down by Sudden Arrthythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), the same condition which affected footballer Fabrice Muamba.

She died in hospital two days later.

Although Kate’s mother Suzanne, 46, has a history of arrhythmia, Kate, who spent nearly every evening at cubs, swimming lessons or kickboxing, had no warning of the illness. The aspiring young popstar had been to a Young Voices concert with choir friends four days before her death.

Today, after an inquest recorded a verdict of death by natural causes, Kate’s family said they were campaigning for better research into the causes of SADS and had already raised £3,500 towards the hospital unit where the youngster was treated.

The rest of the Livesey family are now getting screened for SADS – but doctors have warned the condition may not ever be apparent.

Mrs Livesey from Audenshaw, Manchester who works at the Job Centre Plus, said: “Losing a child is possibly the worst thing you can go through.

“When a child is really sick it is a horrendous experience to go through but the only thing I can say it that in most situations parents can see if coming – they have warning –  yet we had no warning.”

“Kate was only nine and was not even at the stage where she was ‘too cool’ to hang out with her mum.  She didn’t stop dancing. She liked school and did well, especially in English, but she really wanted to be a singer or popstar when she grew up.

ACTIVE: Kate, 9, was always sing, dancing and kickboxing

“Her dream was to go on X Factor – that’s the one thing she wanted to do. We had to keep raising the age she was allowed to apply so she would stop hassling us. Her dad offered to go on with her and she said ‘in your dreams dad, I am not performing with you!’

“She had passions for everything. Every night she was going to some club or activity.

“She loved kickboxing and to go swimming and cubs most nights. If she wasn’t dressed up in something glamorous like a popstar she was covered in mud and messy.

“She was so confident and outgoing. She absolutely idolised Cheryl Cole – that is what everyone knew about her.

”There needs to be more done to identify or ensure there are ways of detecting SADS as we don’t wish any other parents to go through this.

“A lot of footballers are getting checked for underlying heart conditions and even Muamba was checked before he suffered from it and nothing came up. Cardiac Risk in the Young is a great project raising awareness but one of the few.

“There is still very little on the internet on it. When you look for a charity there are reams and reams – but when you look for this there is about one website with hardly anything on it.

“In this day and age with information available at the tip of your fingers there should be more on it. There is very little data.”

The inquest in Stockport was told the disease is rare for SADS to affect young girls, usually presenting in boys predominantly aged between 14 and 35.

But tragedy struck last February whilst Kate was having a bath after her mother advised her to freshen up as she had been poorly.

Mrs Livesey added: “I only kept her off school on the Wednesday because she had been sick and I didn’t want to send her to school and make the others ill.

“There was a little boy being sick at the concert so we just thought she had caught a bug. She wasn’t 100% but nothing to take her to the doctors with.

“Kate is the loudest, most all-singing, all-dancing, out-there girl – she wasn’t a shrinking violet. So when I shouted up to her and heard no response, I went up and I found her on her side with her head in the water.”

Kate was taken to Tameside Hospital but was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital but died on February 7.

Her mother said: “She always wanted to give to charity and was always asking if we could give to this or that so we decided to donate her organs and she helped four people who got her kidneys, pancreas and liver.

“I was just numb to it all. My husband Dave had gone out at 6.50pm to drop our son Matt off at explorers club obviously not imagining for one moment within twenty minutes of leaving the house and coming back his daughter would be gone.”

She added: “One of the things we are looking at is whether we have passed it down to Kate. I had arrhythmia but that can be physically seen.

“You could have a check-up and medical test and nothing would actually be present at all and a few weeks later you could just drop. It is like turning a light switch off.

“The possibility we are looking at is that I might have a secondary heart condition that we didn’t know about and passed on. It might not be that. It may be the case that she is the first in the family to have it. But we now have to make sure Matt isn’t at risk.”

Heartbreakingly, a few weeks before Kate’s funeral, her father, building supervisor David, 48, found an email on her tablet of a song she recorded which she had emailed to a friend for her birthday.

Her mum said: “We found the song – it was quite crackly – so we sent it to get it cleaned up.

“We actually put it on a CD and played it at the funeral. It was the theme tune from a TV programme called Victorious. It was talking about being tomorrow’s fascination and ‘remember me.’ The words were so poignant. It was brilliant because we wanted it to be her performance – she starred in her own show!”

The Livesey family have been fundraising for the PICI unit at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and through the efforts of friends and family have raised around £5,000.

Kate’s older brother Matthew, 14, took it on himself to enter the family in a sponsored run raising £1,000 for his sister.

To donate please visit the family’s JustGiving page.

Story via Cavendish Press

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