A PICKY eater who refused to have anything but chips, buttered toast and baked beans died of malnutrition.
Jobless Scott Martin’s poor diet damaged his liver so badly he ended up needing a transplant, his sister said.
The 20-year-old Manchester United fan bled to death on Christmas Eve after suffering medical complications following a routine operation to remove three infected teeth.
Mr Martin would eat only white sliced bread, chips, and the occasional plate of baked beans. He hated foreign food, and had always refused to eat fresh fruit or vegetables.
His poor diet damaged his body so badly that he developed cirrhosis – a condition more commonly seen in hardened drinkers whose livers have become so badly scarred, they no longer function.
The disease meant he developed a secondary condition, auto-immune hepatitis, which thinned his blood and prevented his body from healing properly.
Specialists urged Mr Martin, who lived with his mother and two sisters in Whitburn, Sunderland, to have life- saving transplant surgery.
But he was too frightened and was instead prescribed medication to control his condition.
He deteriorated so rapidly that by November, when he needed to have three infected teeth removed, doctors said there was a chance he could bleed to death – but if they did not operate he could die from the infection.
Mr Martin’s teeth were removed, but he never recovered from the operation and died on Christmas Eve.
His sister Gail Fairweather, a childminder and married mother-of-six, said: “Scott began to feel ill last year. In May, he was seen by doctors at South Tyneside General Hospital, suffering with what we thought was the flu.
“He was tired all the time and could not walk far. He would get out of breath very quickly.
“But the doctors there did not know what was the matter with him and sent him to see a specialist at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle.
“The specialist found out he had cirrhosis of the liver. We were baffled because Scott was not a drinker.
“He was never happier than when he was in front of the telly watching Man United or fiddling on with some gadget or other, playing golf or watching a film – and would barely ever drink.
“But when we looked into what could have caused it, we found out cirrhosis could be caused by bad diet and malnutrition.
“He began to get very weak. For the last six months of his life he was in a wheelchair.
“In a short time he had gone from being a normal fit, healthy lad to someone who could barely get across the room.”
His mother Margaret, 48, of Farrow Drive, Whitburn, said: “The hardest thing is that he was so young. He was my baby.
“I feel I have been robbed of my little boy. I would do anything to have him back.”
Friends and well wishers said their goodbyes to the former Whitburn School pupil at his funeral last week.