A grieving mum has recalled the moment her daughter who had the ‘world at her feet’ suddenly died just minutes after she said goodnight to her.
Anita Lewis, 44, discovered her daughter, Amber Rummels, 18, unconscious in the bath at their home in Llandaff, Cardiff.
Despite her efforts and those of paramedics to resuscitate her, Amber died in hospital four days later from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
The devastated mum is now concerned that her two younger children – India, 14, and 12-year-old Drake – are also ticking timebombs.
Amber, who was described as a ‘top student’ on her hospitality course at Cardiff and Vale College, was working hard as a waitress and had a large group of friends.
She had just come home from a long shift working at the college’s restaurant, when tragedy struck.
Anita says after saying goodnight to her and going to bed, she was woken by her dog whining.
After getting up to see him, she realised the light wouldn’t switch on and the house was in darkness.
‘The house is never in darkness, so I knew something was wrong,’ explained Anita.
‘I went downstairs to find a torch and my worst fears were realised. There was water from the bathroom dropping through the light switch in the hallway.
‘I knew that the bath had overflowed and something was very wrong.’
Anita shouted to her son Drake, who was 11 at the time, to grab a torch as the pair ran up the stairs to the bathroom.
‘I banged on the door of the bathroom and shouted Amber’s name three times,’ she recalls.
‘When I got no response, I managed to open the door flicking the lock with a pen. What I saw will never leave me for the rest of my days.’
‘My daughter was lying sideways in the bath and her head was completely under the water.
‘The taps were still running, so I turned them off and got her out of the bath.
After carrying out CPR, the family called for an ambulance.
Paramedics managed to get Amber’s heart started and she was taken to the intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Wales.
She died four days later after the family took the painful decision to turn off her ventilator.
They had to wait for months before finding out what had caused Amber’s death, but were recently told that pathology reports found she had died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
Her mum is now determined to carry on Amber’s memory and to raise awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome in young people.
She said: ‘It has left me so scared and worried about my other daughter and son. I can’t lose another child.’