Andre Bradshaw: NZ dad dies of asphyxia by sand after medical episode on Raumati Beach

A young father was walking along a New Zealand beach with his two-year-old daughter when he suffered a medical episode and fell face first, suffocating to death in the sand.

Andre Bradshaw, 25, was walking with his daughter Skyla along Raumati Beach, on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington, on June 28 this year at around midday when the tragedy occurred.

The Wellington builder’s family was unsure of the exact circumstances of his death — but a coroner’s report released on Friday has finally provided them answers, the NZ Herald reports.

Coroner Mark Wilton found that Mr Bradshaw’s cause of death was asphyxia by sand, which occurred after he suffered a medical event and fell face down onto the beach. A post-mortem examination found fragments of sand in his windpipe and lungs.

The coroner said in his findings that Mr Bradshaw had a medical history that included a remote seizure-like disorder which was attributed to a conversion disorder, as well as a nerve condition thought to be related to chronic regional pain syndrome, according to the NZ Herald.

The night before his death he had visited an after-hours medical centre complaining of severe back and neck pain, for which he was prescribed the powerful painkiller tramadol.

The forensic pathologist who conducted the post-mortem said Mr Bradshaw’s cardiovascular disease and seizure-like disorder “were significant contributory conditions that reasonably explain his sudden collapse and subsequent asphyxiation”.

He also had three different viruses in his system — human para-influenza virus 3, influenza type b, and rhinovirus/enterovirus — which also “could have caused Mr Bradshaw’s collapse and aspiration”, the coroner found.

In a Givealittle fundraising page, Skyla’s mother Meya Cameron said Mr Bradshaw “passed away doing what he loved the most and that was walking on the beach with Skyla”.

“Skyla witnessed it,” she wrote.

“We are in complete shock. Skyla was everything to Andre and Skyla will always look up to her dada. Skyla is only two years old and it is a massive change in her life as she has lost her dad. Any amount big or little donated will be hugely appreciated.”

Ms Cameron said any money donated “will be spent on Skyla’s future and will be put into her own bank account for schooling, counselling or emergencies”.

As of Friday, $NZ7000 ($6540) has been raised.

It comes after a similar tragedy on Queensland’s Bribie Island, when Josh Taylor, 25, fell headfirst into a hole on the popular beach on Saturday afternoon and was buried alive.

Mr Taylor remained in a critical condition in hospital for six days before being taken off life support on Thursday and passing away.

frank.chung@news.com.au

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