North West Wales

Ffion Vaughan Williams: Pathologist found fatal tumour

A pathologist has been praised by a coroner for discovering the cause of death of a schoolgirl displaying flu symptoms.

Ffion Vaughan Williams, 15, of Prenteg, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, died in December 2010 after being taken ill.

But further investigation prompted by pathologist Dr Mark Lord at Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital in Bangor revealed she had a tiny tumour affecting her brain.

Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

The hearing at Caernarfon on Wednesday was told that Dr Lord arranged further tests.

An investigation by a top neuro-pathologist revealed the tumour which blocked an aqueduct draining fluid from the brain and it was this that caused Ffion's death.

Dr Lord told the hearing that the presence of flu hid the symptoms of the blockage, which he had never come across before.

Coroner Mr Pritchard-Jones praised the pathologist's persistence.

In a tribute after her death, Ffion was described as a "dear and pleasant" Year 11 pupil by her school, Ysgol Eifionydd, Porthmadog, who was also "always enthusiastic and worked hard".

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