Inquest to probe death of nine-year-old chess prodigy after coughing fits

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An inquest will begin today into the death of a nine-year-old chess champion who died days after he was taken to hospital with chronic asthma.

Michael Uriely was taken to the Royal Free Hospital in London twice after he suffered violent coughing and vomiting fits which left him struggling to breathe.

The national chess champion died on August 25 2015, five days after being discharged from hospital for the second time.

His parents Roy and Ayelet Uriely are hoping the inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court will provide answers about his death.

"Michael had an exceptional life ahead of him which, if his brief childhood was anything to go by, he would have relished and lived to the full," Mrs Uriely said in a statement.

"He was a wonderful son to us whose sweetness of character and remarkable abilities made our lives complete and we are devastated beyond words over his unexpected and tragic death.

"Now we would just like answers as to why he died, and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent it."

She described her son as an extraordinary and highly gifted boy who "doted on his younger twin sisters".

Michael was admitted to the Royal Free Hospital on August 18 and discharged shortly after arrival.

He was readmitted on August 19 and sent home again the following day.

He died days later after suffering another attack while competing in an annual board games festival, which had to be cut short because of his coughing fit.

A spokesman for the Royal Free Hospital said: "We would like to express our deepest condolences to Roy and Ayelet Uriely on the death of their son Michael at this difficult time.

"Our staff are co-operating fully with the inquest and we await the outcome of the hearing."