Doctor Who actress, 29, dies after two seizures and collapses in her parents’ backyard due to undiagnosed epilepsy
- Amii Lowndes, 29, died of sudden unexpected death during epilepsy (SUDEP)
- Doctors did not diagnose the condition even after Mrs. Lowndes had seizures
- Bea, her mother, revealed that Ms. Lowndes had seizures in 2018 and May 2020
- A neurologist adviser told Ms. Lowndes that the attacks can be cardiovascular
A Doctor Who actress has died at the age of 29 after having two seizures and collapsing in her parents’ backyard due to undiagnosed epilepsy.
Amii Lowndes was killed of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), a condition that kills around 600 people in the UK every year.
The doctors did not diagnose epilepsy, despite the fact that Ms. Lowndes had had two seizures, one just weeks before her death.
Her family said they did not realize her condition could be fatal.
Amii Lowndes (pictured) was killed in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), a condition that kills around 600 people in the UK every year
Amii, who starred in Doctor Who alongside Peter Capaldi in 2014 and also had parts in Casualty and Skins, collapsed in Bristol after returning from her London home during the first coronavirus lockdown.
Amii is shown with her mother Bea
She had her first seizure in 2018 and another in May 2020, but a neurologist consultant did not diagnose epilepsy.
Instead, she was told during a telephone consultation that her seizures may have been related to a problem with her heart.
As a result, she did not start on anti-epileptic drugs.
Bea, her mother, told me The mirror: ‘Amii first had an attack in 2018, but we only heard about SUDEP after her death.
“Both they and we would have liked the opportunity to know that epileptic seizures, like heart attacks, can be fatal.
“Nothing will bring Amii back, but if we can save another family going through our pain, it’s worth it.”
Prof. David Chadwick provided evidence during the inquest, saying it was ‘unlikely’ that the lack of treatment would lead to her death on June 15.
Amii (pictured), who starred in Doctor Who alongside Peter Capaldi in 2014 and also had parts in Casualty and Skins, collapsed in Bristol after returning from her London home during the first coronavirus lockdown.
But campaigners say at least four in 10 SUDEP deaths could be avoided if patients were given care and information.
A fan of Shakespeare, Amii wanted to pursue a career in theater and spent seven years as a business development manager for RADA – where she trained.
She has been described by colleagues as a ‘ray of sunshine’ and there is a plan to place plaques in memory of theater seats.
Amii’s family wants to partner with the charity SUDEP Action.
Senior coroner Maria Voisin recorded a narrative verdict. She said she did not think failure to diagnose and treat Amii’s epilepsy reached the threshold of concluding that her death was caused by neglect.
What is sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)?
SUDEP is the sudden, unexpected death of someone with epilepsy who was otherwise healthy.
In SUDEP cases, no other cause of death is found at autopsy.
More than 1 in 1,000 people with epilepsy dies from SUDEP every year. This is the leading cause of death in people with uncontrolled seizures.
The person with epilepsy is often found dead in bed and does not appear to have had a convulsive seizure.
More than a third of cases involve witness attack or evidence of a recent attack close to the time of death.
They are often found face down. No one is certain about the cause of death at SUDEP and it can vary from case to case.
Some researchers believe that a seizure causes an irregular heart rhythm.
Other research has shown that breathing difficulties lead to death after an attack.
Until more answers are available, the best way to prevent SUDEP is to lower your risk by controlling attacks.
Research has shown that people with all types of epilepsy who experience spasmodic seizures can be at risk.