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Heart condition caused death of popular teenager who had glittering army career ahead of him

Oliver McIvor, who died at the age of 17 last year, with his mum Tracey Barnett.
Oliver McIvor, who died at the age of 17 last year, with his mum Tracey Barnett.
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A bright and popular teenager, who collapsed and died just days away from fulfilling his lifelong dream to join the army, died from natural causes.


An inquest into the death of 17-year-old Oliver McIvor ruled his tragic death was caused by a condition called acute cardiac insufficiency, or congestive heart failure.

And because the condition is often undetected and could be genetic, members of his family will now be tested to see if they have it also.

Oliver collapsed and died while out running in Back Lane, Read, in January last year. At an inquest held at Preston Crown Court yesterday a coroner recorded a conclusion that he died of natural causes.

The teen's tragic and sudden death sent shockwaves through the community of Sabden, where he had lived with his family for the past three years.

Oliver's mum, Tracey Barnett said: "The past 14 months has been a nightmare.

"Oliver was so fit and young and had his whole life ahead of him.

"To find out the condition he had could be hereditary was another blow to the family."

A Forever Young tribute night Tracey and her husband Matt have organised in memory of Oliver this Saturday at the White Hart pub in Sabden is a sell out.

Local band The Commoners, whose members are friends of Oliver's, will play and there will be a DJ, raffle and supper. Tracey said she had been once again overwhelmed by the tremendous support from the community who have rallied to make donations and buy tickets for the night.

The aim of the event is to raise £2,000 to buy a defibrillator to site in the Black Hill car park on the border with Read and Sabden, close to the area where he was found.

It will be special solar panelled machine as there is no electricity in the area

Tracey added: "It is a really popular area for walkers, horse riders and recently a cyclist collapsed while up there so this equipment is vitally needed."

On the day he died Oliver had just received his regiment number ready to join the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment and live his dream to follow in the footsteps of his father, Vincent McIvor, who completed 25 years with the army, rising to the rank of lance corporal.

Social media was flooded with tributes for the teenager and a fund raising page set by his Oliver's aunt, Jenna Hayman, to help the family with funeral costs raised the incredible amount of £2,625 in just two days.

A well known and popular person, Oliver was known for always having a smile on his face, his boundless energy and he loved to make people laugh.

Dozens of floral tributes have been placed at the spot where Oliver was found at Black Hill, many of them from his heart-broken friends.

The family was also touched to receive a message of sympathy from the owner of the hotel in Cyprus where they have enjoyed several holidays over the years.

Oliver, who had five brothers and sisters, was also known for his smart dress sense and for always looking dapper with not a hair out of place. He grew up in Burnley and attended Padiham Primary School and Shuttleworth College.