Fatal mix of alcohol and morphine caused death of 26-year-old

The inquest was held at Portsmouth Guildhall
The inquest was held at Portsmouth Guildhall

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  • Kyle had three kidney transplants after being diagnosed with kidney disease aged three
  • Friends and family passed a teddy around in his memory which hit the headlines
  • Coroner and family say he had everything to live for
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A THEATRE technician who had a teddy bear passed around at a festival in his memory died accidentally, a coroner has ruled.

Kyle Birch, 26, who worked at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, was found dead at his parents’ home in Magdalen Road, North End, in December last year.

He was a young man with everything to look forward too

Coroner David Horsley

At the inquest held at Portsmouth Guildhall, the court heard Kyle had a lot to look forward to, including moving into his own home and watching Fleetwood Mac at the Isle of Wight Festival.

In a touching tribute – that caught the attention of musicians and national news – his friends and cousins took a bear to the island for festival-goers to take selfies with and send crowd-surfing.

Grieving parents Gary and Heather Birch said they had been left ‘baffled’ by their son’s death.

Kyle, who went to the University of Brighton, worked night shifts at QA.

The court heard that on December 23, Mrs Birch went to check on her son and found he was not breathing.

Paramedics were called and started CPR but afterwards confirmed he was dead.

A pathologist report found there were no obvious injuries that would have contributed to his death, but did find traces of alcohol and morphine in his blood.

The report said a mixture of this in the body of a person who is not used to it could be fatal.

The inquest heard that Kyle was not known to take recreational drugs.

And the coroner also ruled out suicide.

During the inquest it was revealed that Kyle’s devoted parents had both donated kidneys to their son.

Kyle was diagnosed with kidney disease aged three and in 1997 had a transplant from his father.

When that failed in 2006, his mother transplanted her kidney to him in 2007.

He then went on to have a third transplant, which gave him better prospects.

Mrs Birch said: ‘He had so much he was looking forward too. He was looking forward to Christmas, to moving into his own place in January – he had sorted out a mortgage – and he was looking forward to the Isle of Wight Festival.

‘I know in my heart that Kyle was in a good place.

‘We have been left baffled by this. Our first son died as well.’

Coroner David Horsley recorded a conclusion of death due to an accident.

He said: ‘He was a young man with everything to look forward to.

‘He took something which he wasn’t used to... and it turned into a lethal cocktail.

‘We don’t know the reason why he did, but sadly it led to this.

‘This leads me to say it was an accidental death.’