Jessica Lindsay died after trying to lose weight for an upcoming fight.
Jessica Lindsay died after trying to lose weight for an upcoming fight.

Teen died from extreme weight loss plan

A teenager was training for an amateur Muay Thai fight when she died from heatstroke after trying a weight-loss strategy called water loading.

Now the West Australian Coroner's Court is examining the death of Jessica Jackson, who her family refers to as Jessica Lindsay, including her knowledge of the dangers of weight cutting in combat sports.

The six-day process of water loading involves drinking a significant amount of water then tapering down to none to dehydrate the body, the inquest heard on Tuesday.

On the day of her weigh-in in November 2017, Ms Lindsay did not consume any water and spent hours training at Kao Sok Muay Thai Gym in Forrestdale. She was running in a sweat suit and beanie in the gym car park when she began to stagger then collapsed.

The 18-year-old later died at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

A forensic pathologist ruled her cause of death was multi-organ failure due to the combined effects of hyperthermia and dehydration.

Counsel assisting the coroner Brendyn Nelson said Ms Lindsay, who had been training at the same gym for three years, previously competed in a fight in 2016.

"It is apparent that although Jess might have had assistance with the monitoring of her food and water intake prior to her March 2016 fight, Jess did not have that assistance in 2017 and did not have one-on-one training at the gym," he said.

Jessica Lindsay died after trying to lose weight for an upcoming fight.
Jessica Lindsay died after trying to lose weight for an upcoming fight.

Mr Nelson said Ms Lindsay consumed 7.5 litres of water on day one, decreasing to 3.8 litres for two days, 1.89 litres on the fourth day, 0.95 litres on day five and none on the final day.

"This was done in conjunction with activities promoting dehydration including taking saunas, running in a sauna suit and hot saltwater baths," he said.

"It is also apparent that Jess may have been using laxatives to assist in dropping weight."

Mr Nelson said her friends had expressed concern about the method and she was aware of the risk of organ failure.

"Jess reported suffering a variety of physical symptoms including headaches, tiredness, shivering, dizziness, cramping, and fuzziness of her hearing and eyesight," he said.

Ms Lindsay's mother Sharron has expressed concern other combat sports participants are at risk of death if weight cutting continues.

Among the witnesses to be called will be Combat Sports Commission chair Bob Kucera.

The inquest continues.


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