Boy, 16, suffered ‘irreversible’ brain damage and died after drinking protein shake, inquest hears

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Rohan Godhania died three days after drinking a protein shake in August 2020

A teenager is thought to have suffered ‘irreversible’ brain damage and died after drinking a protein shake.

Rohan Godhania was described as a ‘gentle soul’ with his whole life ahead of him when he died in August 2020.

The 16-year-old’s dad, Pushpa, picked up the protein drink from a supermarket in the hope that it would help him build some muscle.

However, shortly after drinking the shake, the teen fell ill, suffering from stomach cramps and vomiting.

Three days later, Rohan sadly died in hospital, it’s thought, an inquest heard, due to a rare condition called ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency.

The disease prevents the breakdown of ammonia, causing it to build up to lethal levels in the bloodstream, and can be triggered by a protein load.

Pushpa Godhania died three days after drinking a protein shake.


However, a cause of death couldn’t be concluded at the time because Rohan’s organs were donated for transplant.

Mr Godhania told MyLondon last year: “He was fine with it and then late afternoon when we were having lunch, he said his tummy ached.

“He didn’t have anything else to eat and a little later on in the early evening he vomited a few times. Again, there was nothing concerning.”

Speaking during the inquest at Milton Keynes Coroner’s Court, lawyers representing the Godhania family questioned whether opportunities were missed to screen Rohan for ammonia before he died.

And giving evidence, Mr Godhania claimed warnings should be added to protein drinks.

“I purchased it (…) just to build up muscles,” the grieving father said.

“He was quite skinny. We thought that rather than just nagging him, if he built up muscles in his shoulders he would stand a bit taller.”

The 16-year-old's family is searching for answers around his death.


In a statement shared on behalf Mr Godhania and his wife, the mother and father described their son as ‘bright, gentle, reliable and highly intelligent’.

“Rohan had only just turned 16,” they said. “We imagined Rohan developing into a wonderful young man.

“Rohan had his entire life ahead of him, so many hopes and so many dreams.

“The loss revibrates out to so many people whose lives Rohan touched

“This world is a darker place with the loss of such a kind and gentle soul.”

The inquest was set to continue today (28 June), however, it was postponed so the coroner could take the time to consider legal submissions before delivering his findings.

Senior coroner Tom Osborne told Rohan’s family that the inquest would not be delayed any more than absolutely necessary.

And he assured his parents that he would hopefully share his findings before the start of the school summer holidays.

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