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Father believes sudden athlete death claimed life of University of Cambridge graduate Dominic Hamlyn

The father of University of Cambridge graduate who died after swimming in a pool at the family home believes he may have died from a cardiac syndrome known as sudden athlete death (SAD).

Dominic Hamlyn, 24, who studied at Cambridge Judge Business School, was at his brother’s 21st birthday party at the home in the Kent village of Crundale when he went in the swim just after 3.30am on Sunday July 28.

He collapsed and later died in hospital.

Dominic Hamlyn. Picture: LinkedIn (14800847)
Dominic Hamlyn. Picture: LinkedIn (14800847)

His father, renowned neurosurgeon Peter Hamlyn, said in a statement: “There is no mystery, there were no drugs.

“He was swimming in his swimming trunks, almost sober. He had just spoken for 15 minutes without notes.

“It was his youngest brother's 21st and shortly after giving a brilliant speech about him, Dominic went swimming with friends.

“He completed two lengths and then sank to the bottom.

“He was immediately pulled from the water and a medical student started performing CPR until I came a minute later to take over.”

Paramedics arrived and stabilised him, and he was taken to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent.

Mr Hamlyn added: "Two consultants worked on him throughout the night. A specialist team came from St Thomas to put him on a bypass.

“He died despite all their efforts. There will be an inquest but he clearly had a heart attack - a brain scan ruled out a haemorrhage. Their brilliance at resuscitation is our only comfort.

“Why did he die? He was a superb athlete competing in both rugby and rowing at Cambridge.

“It is called sudden death in athletes or sometimes sudden athlete death - SAD. It is a rare often fatal cardiac syndrome. What the footballer had and survived. Not our beautiful, beautiful boy.

“We are broken. If he is to be remembered it is as a hero and one of the world's helpers.”

Mr Hamlyn is best known for helping to save the life of boxer Michael Watson in 1991.

Dominic, who raised nearly £6,000 by running the London Marathon in 2014 in aid of the Brain and Spine Foundation founded by his father, graduated with a first class degree in science and engineering from UCL in London in 2017. He studied for an MPhil in business administration and management at the Judge Business School, graduating this year.

An inquest into his death will now take place.

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