A 26-YEAR-old man died after contracting severe pneumonia and an inflammation of the heart, an inquest heard.

Ralph Easton died in the Royal Blackburn Hospital in October, three days after being taken in complaining of pains in his back.

Today, assistant deputy coroner Elaine Block ruled that student Mr Easton died of natural causes after suffering a bout of pneumonia and heart and lung infections.

However, parents Ralph Senior and Denise, of Billinge End Road, Blackburn, said they had asked hospital bosses to explain what had happened in the hours between when they last saw their son and his death hours later.

The couple say they have received no response from the hospital despite writing a formal letter in December.

The hearing at Blackburn Coroner's Court was told that Mr Easton had awoken on Monday, October 26 feeling unwell.

His GP referred him directly to the RBH.

On Wednesday night, Mrs Easton told the inquest she 'kissed Ralph goodnight' and went home.

Early the next morning, the couple were called and told their son had died overnight.

Dr Mark Sissons, a pathologist based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said he had found Mr Easton’s organs in a healthy condition.

However, he said Mr Easton had suffered 'severe' pneumonia and an inflammation of the heart, both of which were causes of his death.

Mrs Easton told the inquest that her son, who was born three months prematurely, was a 'battler' who had 'come through tremendously'.

“He was a young man and he had fought so hard to get there,” she said.

After the hearing, Mr and Mrs Easton urged hospital chiefs to tell them what happened between their last visit and their son’s death.

Mrs Easton said: “It has been four months of absolute hell waiting to find out what happened.

"I would hate for anyone else to go through this.”

After the inquest, Rineke Schram, East Lancashire Hospitals’ medical director, said: “I am sorry that Mr and Mrs Easton have complaints about their son’s care and I can assure them that their concerns are being fully investigated by the trust.

“They will receive a full response from us as soon as those investigations are complete.”