A Coroner has ruled that a Dunedin man died from heart inflammation caused by his recent Covid-19 vaccination.
Rory James Nairn died on November 17 at the home he shared with his fiancee Ashleigh Wilson.
The 26-year-old plumber received his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on November 5.
A heartbroken Wilson told the Herald the pair were in the process of moving to their dream home and planning their wedding.
When he started having "heart palpitations regularly" - not long after having his Covid-19 vaccination - the couple put it down to "stress".
Minutes after deciding to go to hospital to get checked out Nairn collapsed.
"I watched him die and I could not get to him," said Wilson.
"We were about to leave for hospital and he was in the toilet and I heard a thud.
"He had fallen, his body was blocking the door, his full weight was against it and I couldn't get it open.
"I could just see him through a crack in the door, I could see that he was gone.
"It was really, really traumatic."
Nairn's death was referred to the Coroner and an inquest held across several days in August and September.
Coroner Sue Johnson released her findings publicly today.
She said she was satisfied with the evidence presented to her that she had sufficient information to establish the cause of Nairn's death.
However she still needed to consider and establish as part of a "wider inquiry" whether Nairn's death could have been prevented and if she needed to make any recommendations.
"My inquiry into these latter issues at is still ongoing," she said.
"Given the public interest in whether or not Rory's death was related to the Covid-19 vaccination he received on 5 November 2021, I consider it important to make public my findings as to the cause of Rory's death as soon as I established it."
Wilson said she did not want to speak about the Coroner's findings at this stage.
At the inquest pathologist Dr Noelyn Hung said the direct cause of Nairn's death was "acute myocarditis".
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart.
Hung said the condition "was more likely than not due to Rory's recent Covid-19 vaccination"
"She explained how she reached the diagnosis of myocarditis," said Coroner Johnson in her findings.
"She saw that Rory's heart was soft and pale and from that knew to look for evidence of myocarditis.
"She therefore carried out an intensive pathological examination of the heart.
"She stated that the cause of the myocarditis came down to a diagnosis by exclusion."
Coroner Johnson said there was is no test at the moment that showed the Covid-19 vaccine in myocardial tissue - but Hung was able to exclude the other causes of myocarditis.
"For example, she saw that it was not caused by Rory having rheumatic fever or by infection as there was no sign of a bacteria, virus or fungi," the Coroner said.
"She also excluded all other known potential causes of myocarditis, for example certain
medicines such as the anti-psychotic medications clozapine and risperidone which can cause myocarditis.
"Dr Hung also microscopically examined minute tissue samples she took from other parts of Rory's body: his lungs, thyroid, pancreas, liver, spleen, bone marrow, adrenal glands, kidneys and the central nervous system.
"There was no sign of any infection or any other reason for Rory's death except in the myocardium."
Coroner Johnson said based on Hung's evidence she was satisfied Nairn's cause of death had been established.
"In view of symptoms since Covid-19 vaccination, and no other cause for myocarditis identified, the myocarditis is consistent with vaccine-related myocarditis," she said.
"I accept Dr Hung's medical opinion that the direct cause of Rory's death was acute
myocarditis and that in the absence of any other cause for the myocarditis being identified by the numerous tests that Dr Hung carried out or caused to be carried out, the myocarditis is consistent with vaccine-related myocarditis.
"I am satisfied that Dr Hung's evidence is sufficiently clear, cogent and exacting for me to
infer from it that vaccination with the Covid-19 vaccine caused the myocarditis from which Rory died."
Coroner Johnson reminded that her inquiry into Nairn's death was ongoing.
"I find that… the cause of his death was myocarditis, due to vaccination with the ComirnatyTM Pfizer/BioN Tech Covid-19 vaccine," she said.
"My inquiry into Rory's death is not yet concluded. I have yet to establish the circumstances of his death."
She hoped sharing his story would spark more awareness around the vaccine, what people should watch out for in terms of side effects and when they should seek medical help.
"Rory wasn't worried about his symptoms until that night. But if you have symptoms to do with your heart you really need to get to hospital to get answers."
Wilson hoped people would take their health more seriously after reading Nairn's story.
"Rory was a really typical Kiwi bloke - he never complained and he was always happy and humble.
"He was an amazing guy who lit up the room, he had one of those laughs that got everyone else laughing.
"He was lovely."
Nairn is survived by his parents and siblings.