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School staff checked on Samuel Brown throughout night before he died, inquest hears

A coroner’s inquest has heard that overnight staff at an Ontario school for blind children were shocked to find a disabled teen unresponsive after routinely checking on him.

Student support staff working at W. Ross Macdonald School between Feb. 8 to Feb. 9, 2018 testified that they had been checking on Samuel Brown at half-hour intervals all night and keeping a close eye on him, given he appeared to have cold symptoms.

Former student support counsellor Stephanie Rymon-Lipinski says it was only when she went into Brown’s room at 6 a.m. to change his diaper that they noticed he suddenly wasn’t breathing.

Brown, who was born with a genetic condition that left him blind, deaf and non-verbal, died that morning while attending the Brantford, Ont., school.

The inquest into Brown’s death is in its third day and is exploring the circumstances around his death _ medical experts have disagreed about its cause.

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His family has alleged he was in good health the weekend before he died and only 12 hours passed between the time they received a phone call indicating their son was slightly unwell and when he was pronounced dead in hospital.

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