Manly Sea Eagles’ Keith Titmuss’ family’s touching act as coronial inquest nears end

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Family and supporters of Manly Sea Eagles forward Keith Titmuss dressed in shirts bearing the late player’s face as they attended court for the final day of an inquest into his death.

The young forward died in hospital after suffering seizures following a cardio workout at the club’s base at Narrabeen, on Sydney’s northern beaches, on November 23, 2020.

A coronial inquiry into the incident was told the 20-year-old suffered a heart attack in hospital, with his heath determined to have been the result of exertional heat exhaustion.

Mr Titmuss’ mother and father, Lafo and Paul Titmuss, as well as sister, Zara, and brother, Jesse, wore shirts with Mr Titmuss’ face as they entered the NSW Coroners Court.

A statement from the family is expected to be read in court later on Wednesday, with Mr Titmuss’ teammates having earlier given evidence about his tragic final moments.

The weeks-long inquiry has canvassed a range of factors that may have influenced Mr Titmuss’ sudden deterioration from complaining of cramps to suffering from seizures.

Giving evidence on Thursday, Dr Simon Quilty put greater weight than previous experts on a coronary stenosis, or thickening of the arteries, diagnosed after Mr Titmuss’ death.

“There is a 20-year-old who is very fit and well and died on a relatively mild day of heat stroke. There has to be a predisposition somewhere,” Dr Quilty told the court.

Asked if the Manly Sea Eagles could have tailored a shorter workout for Mr Titmuss, Dr Quilty said the “unfortunate thing” was at the time his coronary condition was unknown.

“My understanding is it was 24C. Football teams have been doing training sessions like this since my childhood days. It was a classic type of session,” Dr Quilty told the court.

Two ambulance paramedics gave evidence on Tuesday about the conditions in the Manly “tin shed dojo”, which they said was hot and humid, and caused them to sweat.

Critically, the duo – as well as a NSW Ambulance director – backed the decision to not call on players, staff, and allied health professionals present to help in the response.

NSW Ambulance paramedic Grant said it would have been difficult to keep ice packs in place amid the “chaotic” scene, and that he had focused on addressing the seizures.

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