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The heartbroken family of a young New Zealand father finally know why he mysteriously died while walking with his two-year-old daughter on the beach.
Andre Bradshaw, 25, was found lying face-down, unresponsive in the sand on Raumati Beach in Paraparaumu, 50km north of Wellington, on June 28.
A member of the public had discovered him at about 12.10pm with his little girl, Skyla, by his side.
For months, his family have not known what caused the father’s sudden death, but new findings from coroner Mark Wilton this week revealed a medical episode combined with ‘asphyxia by sand’ killed him.
The night before he died, Mr Bradshaw was treated at the Wellington Accident and Urgent Medical Centre for escalating severe upper back and neck pain.
New Zealand father Andre Bradshaw (left) died on Raumati Beach on June 28 with his two-year-old daughter, Skyla (right), by his side
A new coroner reports revealed Mr Bradshaw collapsed from a medical episode and choked on sand at Raumati Beach (above)
He was prescribed tramadol, an opioid for short-term relief of moderate to severe pain, and sent on his way.
He and Skyla left for their usual beach walk at about 11.50am, saying goodbye to Mr Bradshaw’s partner and Skyla’s mum, Meya Cameron, on their way out.
A post-mortem examination by forensic pathologist Dr Judy Melinek found there was sand in Mr Bradshaw’s windpipe, meaning he was still breathing when he fell to the ground.
The 25-year-old had previously suffered from a remote seizure-like conversion disorder and a nerve condition believed to be related to complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
Dr Melinek also found evidence of pulmonary edema, excess fluid, in Mr Bradshaw’s lungs.
The father’s cardiovascular disease and seizure-like disorder is believed to have caused a medical episode that led to him collapsing and choking on the sand.
Dr Melinek also found three different flu-like viruses in Mr Bradshaw’s blood that could have further contributed to his collapse.
More than $7,500 was raised for Skyla and Ms Cameron following Mr Bradshaw’s death.
‘Andre passed away doing what he loved the most, walking on the beach with Skyla, and Skyla witnessed it,’ Ms Cameron wrote in a Give a Little post in June.
‘We are in complete shock. Skyla was everything to Andre and Skyla will always look up to her Dada.’
Mr Bradshaw’s partner, Meya Cameron (pictured together), said the 25-year-old ‘passed away doing what he loved the most, walking on the beach with Skyla’
Mr Bradshaw’s sister, Krystle, also shared a tribute following his death, writing: ‘Gone way too soon. Words cannot express how broken I am over the loss of you.
‘You always carried nothing but kindness in your heart and were always looking for the best in people.
‘You will remain forever and always in our hearts.’
Click here to donate to the family’s fundraiser