Cameron Milton played for Bolton Rugby Union Football Club's junior section (Image: Bolton RUFC/MEN Media)
Cameron Milton played for Bolton Rugby Union Football Club's junior section (Image: Bolton RUFC/MEN Media)

A young rugby player who was “terrified” of dying after suffering a concussion during a match tragically took his own life at home earlier this year, an inquest has heard.

Cameron Milton, 18, was found dead in his room by his mum Jo when she went to wake him up on the morning of March 29.

The woman tried to resuscitate her son, but when paramedics arrived, she told them: “He’s gone, I know he’s gone.”

After Cameron’s death, his parents discovered plant material in his room, as well as an infusion of leaves from a tree – and toxicology tests revealed he had died from poisoning.

The teenager, who went to Bolton School and who his family said had ambitions to study at Loughborough University, had been worrying about symptoms he had been experiencing since suffering a concussion during a rugby match in August 2021, Lancs Live reports.

He began to experience dizziness, tremors, loss of balance, and heart palpitations, an inquest at Accrington Town Hall heard.

Despite tests and a number of A&E visits, doctors could not find anything wrong with the young rugby player, and advised against a brain CT scan because of the risk of exposure to radiation at such a young age.

His parents had planned to pay for the scan privately, but Cameron told them he didn’t want them to spend their money.

Friends from Bolton School reported that Cameron had voiced fears that he was dying.

The sixth-form student was predicted high grades in classics, PE and geography. But due to his ongoing medical symptoms, he had missed a number of lessons.

His mum Jo said the Covid-19 lockdown had a “massive impact” on Cameron, as living in the small village of Edgworth, Lancashire, he was isolated from his friends most of the time.

Mrs Milton said: “He loved being with his brothers and his mates. He was always up for a laugh and he wanted to become a personal trainer.”

She revealed that Cameron would regularly test his heart rate and blood pressure, which both occasionally spiked to high readings, including a heart rate of 180 beats per minute. Despite this, he was “still laughing and being his normal self”, she said.

The mum added: “One day in early January he came to me upset and crying. He couldn’t speak for half an hour.

“He said he’d had a full-body tremor. It lasted for two minutes. The next day he went to school and had more tremors. That’s when he started struggling to get to school.”

ECG tests and blood tests found nothing of concern, but Cameron continued to believe he had a heart condition.

He was “scared” he would die and even recorded voice notes on Snapchat almost as if “in the event of his unexpected death”.

On the night of Monday, March 28, Cameron went to bed after saying “love you” to his mum as normal. At 7am the next morning, Mrs Milton found her youngest son dead in his bed.

Police launched an investigation after plant material was found in Cameron’s room and behind his bunk beds.

Cameron’s ex-girlfriend told the police that he had voiced intentions to kill himself.

In December 2021, three months before he died, “he had lost his family dog, one of the greatest loves of his life, and he had been unable to play rugby or go to sixth form”, she said.

Returning a conclusion of suicide, Assistant Coroner Kate Bisset said: “Cameron was obviously a very much-loved son, brother, grandson, and friend, and his loss is a tragedy beyond comprehension. He had a kind and caring nature, a bubbly personality and was skilled in sportsmanship.

“He was a sixth-form student with high aspirations. Cameron was happy, positive and had a bright future. He sounds like a truly wonderful young man.”

After the inquest, Cameron’s dad Marcus said his son “had a smile that lit up a room”.

In a tribute posted on Facebook after Cameron’s death, dad Marcus wrote: “Live every moment until your last. It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my youngest son Cameron.

“He is the light of our lives and will forever be that young cheeky kid we have known for the past 18 yrs . He will forever be in our hearts and will never be forgotten. We ask that we are left alone at this time to grieve.

“He may not be with us in body but he will always be here in spirit. Good night baby boy from your Mum & Dad x”