A YOUNG and healthy father of two died suddenly in his sleep on the morning of his sister's wedding.
Dean Chapman suffered sudden adult arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) on December 6 last year, an inquest heard this week.
The 28-year-old, of Dunley Drive, had no alcohol or drugs in his system when he died and a range of medical tests found no obvious health problem.
Croydon coroner Dr Roy Palmer gave his cause of death as SADS, saying it was a "diagnosis of exclusion".
"If we have looked for anything else and found nothing then we are left with this," he said.
The syndrome is given as the cause for the roughly one in 20 sudden cardiac deaths for which there is no obvious reason.
Dean's partner of 10 years and mother of his children Danielle Humphris said this week life was a "daily struggle" without him.
"There is no reason for it – it is very hard for me as it makes no sense," she said.
"I want to make people aware of it, the fact that it does happen more often than people think.
"It is one of those things – the luck of the draw."
Close blood relatives of a person who has died of SADS are advised to have tests to check whether there is any inherited underlying medical condition.
Ms Humphris said she and Dean had planned to marry in Las Vegas this year, alongside their children, Jessica, 7, and Jake, 3.
"Everyone else had the big white wedding; I wanted to be different, so I said we could go and get married through an Elvis impersonator," she said.
"So us and the kids would just go out there and come back and say, 'Look what we have done'."
She added that Dean, a refuse collector who worked for Croydon Council, was "devoted to his family".
"He was very happy doing what he was doing, as long as me and the kids were happy – and we were," she said.
"That is the thing that mattered to him. We did not need all the expensive things in life.
"We just had each other."
Dean had attended Broadmead Primary School and then Selsdon High before studying plumbing at college.
He then started working for the council.
Remembering the morning of the wedding when he died, she said Dean had taken to bed, feeling unwell.
Ms Humphris added: "When I left him in bed, he was snoring.
"As was said in the inquest, I had to go and do the bride's hair – I was maid of honour.
"Then his brother called me. I got to the hospital the same time as the ambulance because I was driving like a maniac.
"It felt like hours but it was minutes [until] the doctor came out – I did not want to hear what they wanted to say."
Dean sister's wedding went ahead on that day, added Danielle, who did not attend.