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Mandurah mother Meegan Hefford dies taking protein shakes

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U.K

Mandurah mother Meegan Hefford dies taking protein shakes


Protein shakes have been blamed for the sudden death of an ultra-fit mother aged just 25, as her devastated family call for warnings on the popular diet supplements.

Mother-of-two Meegan Hefford was rushed to Fiona Stanley Hospital in Western Australia when she was found unconscious in her Mandurah apartment on June 19.

At the time of her collapse, Ms Hefford had a diet filled with protein-rich foods which she was also supplementing with protein shakes, Perth Now reported. 

Mother-of-two Meegan Hefford was rushed to Fiona Stanley Hospital in Western Australia when she was found unconscious in her Mandurah apartment on June 19

Mother-of-two Meegan Hefford was rushed to Fiona Stanley Hospital in Western Australia when she was found unconscious in her Mandurah apartment on June 19

She was working hard in lead up to a bodybuilding competition, unaware she suffered from a rare genetic disorder which meant her body was unable to properly digest protein.

Urea cycle disorder caused a build-up of ammonia in her blood stream and fluid in her brain which ultimately led to lost brain function. 

When Ms Hefford was taken to hospital on June 19, doctors struggled to work out why a healthy, young woman was losing brain activity.

Doctors struggled for two days before they diagnosed her with urea cycle disorder. 

She was working hard in lead up to a bodybuilding competition, unaware she suffered from a rare genetic disorder which meant her body was unable to properly digest protein

She was working hard in lead up to a bodybuilding competition, unaware she suffered from a rare genetic disorder which meant her body was unable to properly digest protein

She was working hard in lead up to a bodybuilding competition, unaware she suffered from a rare genetic disorder which meant her body was unable to properly digest protein

Ms Hefford was working hard in the gym in the lead up to a body building competition when she died 

Ms Hefford was working hard in the gym in the lead up to a body building competition when she died 

Ms Hefford was working hard in the gym in the lead up to a body building competition when she died 

The young mother, who was studying paramedicine at Edith Cowan University, died the following day, June 22.

WHAT IS UREA CYCLE DISORDER?

  • People with the disorder have an enzyme deficiency
  • The disorder prevents protein from properly breaking down
  • Ammonia builds up in the bloodstream
  • This poisons the brain
  • It can lead to brain damage, coma or death

 

She left behind a five-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter.

Ms Hefford’s death certificate listed urea cycle disorder and the ‘intake of bodybuilding supplements’ as two causes of death.

Ms Hefford’s mother Michelle White said her daughter complained about feeling lethargic and ‘weird’ in the lead up to her death.

‘I said to her, “I think you’re doing too much at the gym, calm down, slow it down”,’ Ms White told Perth Now.

Ms White said she was shocked to learn how sick her daughter was when she was found unconscious.

‘I couldn’t believe what the doctors were telling me, she was dying… she didn’t look sick, she looked beautiful,’ Ms White said.

Meegan Hefford (pictured) left behind a five-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter

Meegan Hefford (pictured) left behind a five-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter

Meegan Hefford (pictured) left behind a five-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter

Ms Hefford's death certificate listed urea cycle disorder and the 'intake of bodybuilding supplements' as two causes of death

Ms Hefford's death certificate listed urea cycle disorder and the 'intake of bodybuilding supplements' as two causes of death

Ms Hefford’s death certificate listed urea cycle disorder and the ‘intake of bodybuilding supplements’ as two causes of death

Meegan Hefford appeared fit and healthy when she died suddenly in June this year

Meegan Hefford appeared fit and healthy when she died suddenly in June this year

Meegan Hefford (left and right) appeared fit and healthy when she died suddenly in June 

Ms Hefford's mother Michelle White said her daughter (pictured together) complained about feeling lethargic and 'weird' in the lead up to her death

Ms Hefford's mother Michelle White said her daughter (pictured together) complained about feeling lethargic and 'weird' in the lead up to her death

Ms Hefford’s mother Michelle White said her daughter (pictured together) complained about feeling lethargic and ‘weird’ in the lead up to her death

The devastated mother said she only discovered her daughter was taking protein supplements after she died and found half a dozen supplement containers in her kitchen.  

The heartbroken mother has called for tighter restrictions and regulations on protein supplements and similar products.

While Ms Hefford’s death was tragic, Ms White hoped it could serve as a warning to others about the potential danger of dietary supplements.

‘Losing Meegan, it’s so awful and I still can’t believe she’s gone but I have to focus on the positives that at least I had 25 years with her and she jammed so much into her life, it’s almost like she knew her time would be short,’ she said. 

While Ms Hefford's (pictured) death was tragic, Ms White hoped it could serve as a warning to others about the potential danger of dietary supplements

While Ms Hefford's (pictured) death was tragic, Ms White hoped it could serve as a warning to others about the potential danger of dietary supplements

While Ms Hefford’s (pictured) death was tragic, Ms White hoped it could serve as a warning to others about the potential danger of dietary supplements



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