A COUPLE whose son died in his sleep aged 16 say they will take legal action against the NHS if it emerges that his death could have been prevented.

Owen Britton, a “caring”, athletic and academically gifted teenager who planned to go to Cambridge University, is thought to have suffered a nocturnal epileptic seizure.

His parents, Linda Barclay and David Britton, from Drymen, believe they should have been warned about the risks following a previous episode.

A year earlier Owen was rushed to hospital after his parents were unable to wake him.

The couple say a specialist in Glasgow ruled out a seizure, following tests, and told them to come back if he suffered another.

Almost a year later, on January 28, 2016, Ms Barclay found her son dead after going to wake him for school. His death was recorded as “unascertained”.

However, it is thought, and the couple are certain, that he suffered a Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), which, according to the Epilepsy Society, can be preventable. The couple are waiting for the outcome of an investigation by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Ms Barclay said: “Owen went to bed one night and he was gone in the morning. It is one of the greatest frustrations that the consultant did not mention the risk when Owen had his previous seizure.

“Had we known, the death could have been avoided. We were only told after his death that if seizures go on undetected or you are not medicated, you have a one in 150 chance of survival.”

Owen was top of his year at Balfron High School and an accomplished runner and athlete and had swum 100 lengths the night before he died.

Ms Barclay said: “I went to his room to get him up for school and he was gone. And he had been gone for hours.

The 48-year-old, who also has a daughter, Isla, 14, described the past two years as “absolute hell”. She said: “You hear stories on the radio and you think, if that happened to me I would die. There are times when I think, I can’t go on. It comes in waves. The waves come at you and you think, I can’t cope with that. Through time the waves get smaller but they don’t go away. They will never go away.”

Mr Britton, 58, added: “At the moment we are still trying to establish whether Owen was failed by an NHS policy that needs changing or by the actions of an individual consultant, but we are convinced that it is one or the other, or both.

“Ultimately, if we believe there was also some fault on the consultant’s side, and we currently do, but are awaiting the outcome of the review, then we would consider all appropriate action, including legal action, to ensure other children are not put at risk.”

A spokeswoman for the NHS board said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Owen’s family at this extremely difficult time. Our staff followed national guidelines when treating this patient. This was explained to the family at a meeting with some of our clinical and managerial staff. However, we have listened to the family’s concerns and are fully considering the issues they have raised. The outcome of this will be shared with the family directly.”

Ms Barclay is preparing for a gruelling Iron Man Challenge in eight days time, on the anniversary of Owen’s death, to raise funds for a study looking at the prevalence of SUDEP across the UK. She said: “We can’t bring Owen back, but we don’t want another family to go through this.”