A TWO-YEAR-OLD with cerebral palsy died from 'unknown causes', an inquest heard.

Jade Smith and Daniel Rowlands’ two-and-a-half-year-old son, Ralph, died at Royal Blackburn Hospital on May 23 a day after falling ill at home, in Lindsay Park, Worsthorne.

Ralph, who was born in Manchester in October 2014, had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy a disorder that affects muscle movement, tone and motor skills.

This meant Ralph struggled to digest food, suffered from visual impairment, had fevers and often got coughs and colds through infection throughout his short life, the inquest heard.

A day before his death, Ralph, who could not feed himself, started to vomit after his grandmother had given him a yoghurt.

Ralph’s grandmother Susan said: “I gave him some yoghurt to eat after his mother said she was going to the shops.

"She didn’t take him because she said he wasn’t looking so good.

"I asked him ‘do you want a yoghurt?’ and he hummed - which he would do if he wanted something.

“He started taking it and then started to look off colour.

"I thought ‘he is going to vomit that’.”

The inquest heard that after Ralph started to struggle to breathe an ambulance was called and he was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Susan added: “His mother was in pieces.

“I spoke to the paramedics and they said it looked like his eyes were open and he was still breathing but he didn’t react. It was like he was gone already even though he was still breathing.”

Royal Manchester Hospital consultant and pathologist Dr Gaurav Batra, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said there were brain changes in keeping with cerebral palsy but that there was not enough evidence to suggest that was the cause of death.

She said the cause of death was not ‘obvious’ and would require a lot more investigation.

She added: “Children with cerebral palsy can die suddenly but there was not one thing here that is obvious to say this was more likely than not to be the cause of death.

“There was an infection but what this was I do not know. Medical science has not progressed far enough to tell us.”

Concluding that Ralph died from an “unknown natural causes”, coroner Richard Taylor described his death as a “sad demise”.

He said to the parents: “I’m sorry you have had to relive this.”