The 75-year-old mother of British TV actress Milanka Brooks died from heatstroke after using the sauna at a gym in Cheltenham, a coroner heard recently.
Mileva Brooks of Lypiatt Terrace, Cheltenham, was the mother of Milanka Brooks, best known for her portrayal of Princess Svetlana in Channel 4’s British Royal family parody ‘The Windsors.’
Milanka also played Elena Tulaska in the multi-Emmy Award-winning series, ‘Black Mirror: USS Callister’.
The inquest at Gloucester Coroner’s Court heard that Mileva was taken to hospital on August 26th last year when she became unwell after using the sauna at Everlast gym in Henrietta Street, Cheltenham.
Milanka, who also appeared in the BBC1 sitcom ’My Family’, was with her mother when she died three days later.
Sergeant Ian Pipe told the inquest that Mileva had been a member of the Everlast Gym since February 2022.
He said that during his investigation of the tragedy he reviewed the gym’s CCTV for August 26th last year and saw Mileva reading the safety notice before entering the sauna at 2.15pm.
“While Mileva was in the sauna other gym members entered and they later became concerned for her welfare when she began making a snoring noise every few breaths,” the sergeant said. “A member activated the emergency button to summon assistance from staff. The sauna was switched off at 3.16pm and the ambulance service called. Mileva was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital, but she died three days later.”
Sgt Pipe concluded that there was no third-party involvement in Mileva’s death and nothing of a criminal nature had been identified as a contributing factor.
Sadie Hawson, a senior environment health officer at Cheltenham Borough Council, said she conducted a Health & Safety Executive review of events and found no reason for the local authority to take any further action in relation to the events of August 26, 2022.
Ms Hawson concluded that the gym had been compliant with the basic standards of practice and that there was no issue with the sauna equipment or the signage.
Pathologist Dr Matthew Beesley said his post-mortem examination of Mileva had been hampered by the effects of medical intervention to try to save her life.
Dr Beesley said that Mileva had been taking prescribed medication, but this would not have contributed to the cause of death.
He said that the autopsy examination revealed that Mileva had suffered from heatstroke causing her to become unwell and this caused her to collapse after spending a period of time in the sauna.
Dr Beesley added: “Mileva’s body temperature was found to be elevated to 39.2 degrees centigrade when it was measured by paramedics. In my opinion the most likely cause of death in this case is the effects of heatstroke.
“It is not possible to determine on the basis of this examination alone how long Mileva had been exposed to heat in the sauna or estimate what the temperature of the sauna was.
“There is no evidence of any disease that would explain the high body temperature detected at the scene or anything else to provide an alternative cause of death.”
Roland Wooderson, assistant coroner for Gloucestershire, recorded a narrative conclusion saying: “Mileva was found unresponsive in the sauna of the gym on August 26 last year. An ambulance was called, and she was taken to hospital where she died three days later on August 29.
“The post-mortem cause of death is noted that she died from the effects of heatstroke.”