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Woman died from dunking in cold water during therapy after it triggered heart condition

Woman died from dunking in cold water during therapy after it triggered heart condition

Kellie Jean Poole died during a cold water therapy session in an English river

A mother of three died after suffering a cardiac arrest whilst taking part in a cold water therapy session.

The mother of 39-year-old Kellie Jean Poole is calling for greater regulation after her daughter tragically died whilst plunging into a river as part of a session because of an undiagnosed heart condition.

Poole was pronounced dead at the River Goyt in Derbyshire, England on April 25, 2022 after taking part in a cold-water session that included breathing exercises before getting into a cold river wearing only a bathing suit.

Cold water therapy has been championed by many celebrities, even superstars like Chris Hemsworth and Kim Kardashian.

The coroner concluded that the cold water was what probably caused her ‘sudden cardiac death’.

Mum-of-two Kellie Jean Poole.

Kellie, from Greater Manchester, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, and the inquest into her death has heard evidence from a doctor that the cold water – recorded at 10.7C – was a relevant factor.

Consultant cardiologist Damian Kelly, when asked about whether the cold water was a factor, said: “Yes, I think that is what has happened. It is difficult not to see it as relevant.”

Kellie was taking part in a session organised by UK-based company Breatheolution at the time of her death. On their website, the cold water therapy is said to have immune system benefits, as well as relieving stress and improving mental health.

The website reads: “The cold water therapy is proving to have a significant effect on clients, and although it can be tough including some uncomfortable sensations of the body, the benefits are incredible.

“Cold therapy and exposure to cold is now proving to be highly beneficial in so many ways, from sports injuries to even helping severe PTSD or anxiety sufferers step away from prescribed medication, not to mention what the cold delivers to our immune and nervous systems.”

Victoria Fielding, a friend of Kellie, said that the pair performed breathing exercises before entering the water, and that they were ‘enjoying’ their time, as well as ‘laughing and giggling’.

However, Kellie later complained of a headache, before falling forward into the water. CPR was administered by the company’s owner and founder, Kevin O’Neill, but it was unsuccessful.

A post-mortem found she died of sudden cardiac arrest caused by left ventricular hypertrophy, thickening of walls in the heart’s lower chamber.

Poole had an undiagnosed heart condition.

Senior coroner Peter Nieto said that he does not blame the company for Kellie’s death.

He said: “I don’t see how it would have been possible for Mr. O’Neill to foresee that Kellie would get into the difficulty she did and sadly die on the riverbank,

“Quite simply, he did not know that she had a very serious cardiac condition, and she did not know herself, so I don’t think it is possible to say her death could have been avoided.”

But Kellie’s mother is now calling for regulation of the activity.

Diane Service said: “I can’t believe that these activities are not regulated. It is a change that needs to come very soon,

“It is too late for Kellie, but not for someone else.”

Diane added that whilst she knows her daughter’s death is ‘nobody’s fault’ she ‘just can’t believe it’.

O’Neill also called for more regulation, telling the inquest: “I have witnessed every reaction possible in the cold in the last three years, and it does need regulating.”

Featured Image Credit: Facebook

Topics: UK News, Health