A YOUNG man who battled an extremely rare condition from birth is believed to have died of anaphylactic shock following a reaction to an antibiotic.

Liam Barker, from Middlesbrough, died suddenly in August, aged 22.

He relied on 24-hour care and two ventilators after being diagnosed with centronuclear myopathy as a baby, a musclewasting condition that affects one in ten million people, and he wasn't expected to live past the age of three.

He is understood to have been one of the oldest people living with the condition.

An inquest in Middlesbrough yesterday heard from pathologist Dr Mark Egan, who believed Mr Barker's death was due to anaphylaxis, but this was questioned by Dr Richard Powell, a consultant anaesthetist at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and sudden allergic reaction.

On the day he died, Mr Barker had been administered colomycin at home by specialist Alison Armstrong.

He had been given the antibiotic before but not for several years.

His carers, Emma Stansil and Stephen Melville, who had both helped to look after him for some years, told the inquest at Middlesbrough Town Hall that Mr Barker's oxygen levels had dropped quickly and an ambulance was called.

Ms Stansil tearfully told the inquest that she went to wait at the end of the lane for paramedics, as the house was difficult to find, while Mr Melville and Ms Armstrong administered CPR. However, they could not save him.

His parents Philip and Michelle Barker, who had devoted 22 years to caring for their son, who was on ventilation and life support machines at home, were present as his condition rapidly deteriorated.

Dr Peter Messer, a consultant in intensive care on the RVI's home ventilation team, said the incorrect filter had been put on the nebuliser which administered the drug, but said there was no evidence that this contributed to Mr Barker's death.

The filter would have made breathing out more difficult, but in Mr Barker's case there was no evidence of asphyxiation in his post mortem report, he said. There was more complex medical evidence heard about nebulisers and the administration of colomycin.

Just days before his death Mr Barker was well enough for a trip up Redcar Beacon in his wheelchair with his family.

The inquest, expected to last three days, continues.