THE mother of a baby girl who died just six-weeks-old may never know the cause of her death, an inquest heard.
Malayeka Hateeja Cadle, of Taylor Street, Brierfield, died in her sleep on November 12 last year.
A post-mortem examination could not find a natural cause of death for the baby, who was described as ‘perfectly health’ when she was born on September 28.
East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor, who recorded that Malayeka died of ‘undiagnosed natural causes’, said: “I think it’s fair to say medical science hasn’t progressed quite as far as people think it has.”
Malayeka’s mother, Maria Cadle, had to temporarily leave the hearing at Burnley Coroner’s Court because she was too upset to hear Dr Stefania Bitetti give her findings from the post-mortem examination.
Miss Cadle told the inquest how Malayeka, who weighed 5lb 11oz, spent 10 days in hospital after being born before they ‘settled really well’ at a fostering placement in Stacksteads.
On November 11, Miss Cadle took Malayeka to visit her grandmomother in Brierfield but said the baby was ‘a bit niggly’ and ‘cried all the way home’ on the bus to Rawtenstall.
At home, the pair watched television and cuddled before Malayeka was put to sleep in her Moses basket.
Miss Cadle said she woke up at 5am the next day and ‘realised something was very wrong’.
Mr Taylor went into no further detail about Malayeka’s death, but said that she was pronounced dead at Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Dr Bitetti, consultant paediatric histopathologist at Manchester Children’s Foundation Trust, said: “I have concluded that we don’t really know how the infant has died suddenly and unexpectedly.
"One of the possible causes was airway obstruction but there was no such evidence in this case.”
She added: “In my opinion, the cause of death remains undiscovered.”
Mr Taylor said the case would previously have been described as ‘sudden infant death syndrome’ but that term was no longer used because it was ‘unhelpful’ and ‘simply a description’.
He said: “What the doctor has told us is that she can’t explain how or why your baby died.
"There was nothing untoward in the inquiry or examinations and so the medical cause of death isn’t properly known.
“I can only repeat my condolences to you. I have little option but to reach a conclusion that it was an undiagnosed natural cause.”