A YOUNG musician died suddenly at home as the result of a lifelong illness, an inquest has heard.

Max Hilleard, 25, from Witney had a passion for music, playing at open mic events and even recording his own compositions.

He was born with hydrocephalus – a condition which causes swelling in the brain – and also had scoliosis (curvature) of the spine.

Read also: Man found stabbed at Sainsbury's car park

An inquest into his death at Oxford Coroner's Court today concluded that he suffered a seizure in the bath on August 15 last year from cranial pressure that built up as a result of his hydrocephalus.

In an account read to the court by coroner Sonia Hayes, Mr Hilleard's mother Kate Mercer recounted what happened in the days leading up to his death.

She said: “His father and I noticed he seemed to be tired, but he was still attending open mic events and had a social life.

"We put it down to tiredness, however, we now can see it could have been down to slow increasing of intracranial pressure.”

On the day he died, he had previously taken his friend to hospital at night and did not get much sleep.

When he returned home, his mother spoke to him and although he seemed well, she noticed he looked tired so suggested he took a bath and had an early night.

Ms Mercer said: “We left him in the bath and when we returned at 10pm, he was still in the bath, so we opened the door and found him.”

Read also: Anniversary of airing of Peter Marsh episode of Come Dine With Me

Investigating police officer Mark Wray said he had spoken to Mr Hilleard’s friends who had previously commented on his tiredness on a trip to Cambridge.

He said: “I had two conversations with Max’s friend John, he said he had been to hospital and that Max had picked him up.

“They went out and, because he was driving, Max only had one drink and then drank Coke.

“His friend John became ill and Max drove him to hospital and afterwards back to Witney and they both got about two hours of sleep.

“They didn’t see any signs of him being unwell.”

After taking his friend to hospital Mr Hilleard went to a singing lesson and a full day of work as a tennis coach despite only getting two hours of sleep.

Mr Hilleard died later that day.

His mother said when he took baths, he often ran the water high and kneeled down.

Read also: Spotify launches podcast for lonely dogs

This was because it was more comfortable for him due to the metal rods in his back from his scoliosis, which was proposed by his mother as a possible reason why he was found lying on his front.

Ms Mercer said: “In the last few years Max has been lively and active in full spirits up until the last month of his life.”

After his passing, friends and family of Mr Hilleard created a crowdfunding website.

The site has raised £2,728 from donations for the Great Ormond Street Hospital charity and also for The Nasio Trust, an Abingdon charity that help orphans in Africa.

The crowdfunding website has also been used as a page dedicated to Mr Hilleard's memory.

The page includes a recording of his music, a composition called ‘Fade Away’, pictures and stories.

The website says: “Everything he did in life; he did with enormous and unstoppable determination.

“He died at a time when he was flying high in everything he undertook, and despite our sadness at his passing, there is nevertheless comfort in knowing that for him, at the time, everything was just perfect.”

Members of public can see more and donate online at max-hilleard.muchloved.com