Hospital review launched after Lord Young’s daughter dies hours after complaining of headache

Gaia Young said she was feeling ill on 20 July – 16 hours later she was declared brain dead

Colin Drury
Saturday 04 September 2021 20:04
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Hospital review launched after lord’s daughter dies

A hospital review has been launched after the 25-year-old daughter of the late Lord Young of Dartington died just hours after complaining of a severe headache.

Gaia Young was rushed to University College London Hospital with acute vomiting on 20 July but was declared brain dead 16 hours later.

Her death is currently being treated as unexplained after a first post-mortem examination came back inconclusive – but UCLH has now launched a review after the family sought answers as to how her condition could have deteriorated so quickly.

The Bristol University history graduate received her second Covid-19 jab in March but her family believe speculation the tragedy may be linked to the vaccine is highly unlikely given the four month time gap.

Gaia’s half brother, the writer and commentator Toby Young, said: “No doubt some people will speculate that her sudden death was a rare side effect of the Covid vaccine, but she had her second jab in March so on the face of it that seems unlikely.”

He added: “It’s an unspeakable tragedy for which there’s no apparent explanation. Gaia ate healthily, exercised regularly, did not take drugs and only drank occasionally and in moderation.

“The death of a family member is always difficult to bear, but for a healthy 25-year-old to be suddenly taken from you is particularly hard. She was a lovely person – kind, funny, clever, creative, loyal, conscientious, endlessly curious. She had the world at her feet.”

Gaia was five-years-old when her father Lord Young passed away in 2002. The sociologist and politician is credited with coining the term meritocracy and played a key role in shaping the post-war welfare state after writing the Labour Party’s victorious manifesto for the 1945 general election. He was 81 when Gaia – the youngest of his six children – was born.

A UCLH spokesman said: “Our deepest sympathies go to Gaia’s loved ones at this very sad and difficult time. We are in contact with her family and reviewing the circumstances leading to her death.”

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