THE FAMILY of a ‘devoted’ husband and father who died after suffering an epileptic shock have paid tribute to a ‘larger than life character with a tremendous sense of humour’.

An inquest into the death of Daniel James Dench at County Hall in Dorchester was told how the 35-year-old was found by his wife Joanne on the floor of the bedroom in their Weymouth home after apparently suffering a fit.

The couple, who married in August 2010 and welcomed baby Jessica into their lives the following Christmas, had been out shopping on the morning of March 30 and had talked about their future and the possibility of having a second child.

Joanne told the inquest she had gone out to see friends at around 2pm while her husband went to bed to have a nap.

When she returned three hours later she initially could not find Daniel but soon discovered him lying on the floor in the bedroom apparently unconscious.

Joanne rang for an ambulance and, after discovering her husband was not breathing, carried out chest compressions while she waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him using a defibrillator but to no avail and Daniel was pronounced dead at the scene.

Joanne explained how chartered surveyor Daniel, who had a history of epilepsy dating back to 1993, would only have a sleep seizure every few months in the years they had been together and the condition was ‘well controlled’.

She said: “I must admit the first time I witnessed Dan having a seizure was a pretty scary experience.

“However, as time went on and with advice from medical professionals and guidance from his very supportive family we were able to cope with his epilepsy and go about living a normal and happy life.” Although pathologist Dr Mark Deverell could find no definitive evidence at autopsy, Dorset Coroner Sheriff Payne concluded that Daniel had indeed died as a result of an epileptic fit.

He said: “From the evidence before me I’m satisfied that he did have a fatal fit because that is what fits in with the facts in front of me.”

The coroner added: “I’m satisfied that the medical cause of death is sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and I am therefore going to record a verdict that he died from natural causes.”

After the inquest Daniel’s family said in a statement: “Daniel was a very hard working, honest and conscientious young man whose family meant the world to him.

“He was a devoted husband and daddy and greatly loved by all his family, along with being a good friend to so many people.

“It goes without saying that being epileptic did affect Dan’s life, but he never felt sorry for himself and always put others needs before his own.

“He was a larger than life character with a tremendous sense of humour, his passing has left a huge hole in our family unit which will never be replaced, but we will be forever proud of all he achieved while living with epilepsy.”