Kyle Losse died of a massive stroke caused by abnormal blood flow in his brain. His death earlier this year had nothing to do with vaping.
Those are the findings of a long-awaited coroner’s report into the death of the 14-year-old Tsawwassen baseball player in January.
The report released Tuesday is consistent with an autopsy report that Kyle’s parents Niki and Brian shared with the Optimist and was reported on last month.
“Microscopic examination revealed structural changes in the walls of these arteries that led to the interruption of blood circulation,” wrote coroner Adele Lambert. “Strokes are rare in children and this type of posterior circulation is even more uncommon, with symptoms being variable and non-specific. I classify this death as natural.”
Niki said the coroner’s findings provide little comfort.
“It was as expected from the initial report. It was determined stroke, but it’s still pretty shocking that a perfectly healthy 14-year-old was having a stroke,” said Niki.
In the initial autopsy report there were also suggestions the stroke was caused due to fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD).
“It could have been one of the factors, but from the coroner’s report it said the cause was stroke that affected the main artery of his brain. They did notice other variations, which FMD was one of them, but they don’t think that was a factor,” added Niki.
On Jan. 21 Kyle collapsed in the upstairs bathroom of their home.
He was rushed to Delta Hospital where he remained for eight hours while some tests were done. He was discharged the following morning, but his condition soon worsened and he was rushed by ambulance to BC Children’s Hospital where a CT scan showed a significant brain injury that doctors could not explain.
He was taken off life support on Jan. 23.
An e-vape device was found on the floor where Kyle collapsed. There was speculation that the brain injury was due to a reaction from nicotine, but the autopsy showed that no drugs were present and the e-vape device had nothing to do with his death.
Niki said the family still believes that not enough was initially done at Delta Hospital.
“They said they did a neurological examination before he was checked out. Well, if that was the case, how could they not realize he was having a stroke,” she said. “I know that the type of stroke he had was not common and does not display the same symptoms a regular stroke does, but that being said, we still strongly feel if a CT scan would have been done, something could have been done. I don’t know if it would have been life-saving, but it would have provided him some comfort and at least gave us some closure. There are still so many unanswered questions.”
Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma said the authority is reviewing a copy of the coroner’s report.
“This is an extremely sad situation, and we know the family continues to have questions about what happened,” said Juma. “The report indicates that he died of natural causes due to a very rare medical condition, and does not provide any recommendations to Fraser Health in terms of the care we provided.”
Niki said they are still weighing their options as to whether they will take legal action.
“It’s never been about a dollar amount, it’s been about making sure this never happens to anyone else,” she said.
Kyle was a popular and promising baseball talent whose death has had a profound impact in the community and throughout the broader baseball community.
His celebration of life drew more than 1,000 people to the diamond at Winskill Park, his jersey number 14 was retired by Tsawwassen Baseball and a memorial tournament held during the Canada Day long weekend was a huge success and will now become an annual event.