THE mother of Swindon businessman Steve Goss says her grandchildren will never have an answer as to how their dad died.

Mr Goss, the former manager of Infinitely Better memorabilia shop in the Brunel Centre, died on August 24 last year from a rare congenital heart problem.

The 38-year-old, of Calne - who had a history of alcohol dependency - was found unconscious by a friend.

He died at Great Western Hospital eight days later having never regained consciousness.

At an inquest into his death Deputy Wiltshire Coroner Peter Hatvany said he had no choice but to record an open verdict as vital blood samples were destroyed by the hospital before they could be analysed.

Mrs Goss said the family had been let down by staff incompetence at GWH.

"An open verdict will leave the cause of his death open to interpretation," she said. "What exactly can I say to my grandchildren? When they're older and ask me how their dad died, what can I say?"

Mr Hatvany said: "I am sorry but that is the verdict I must record given the disposal of the samples.

"Mr Goss died a natural death but I cannot say whether that was contributed to without this information."

Mr Goss had non-compaction cardio myopathy, a rare condition which affects the muscles surrounding the heart.

He was found unresponsive and not breathing on August 15 by friend Mandy England who called an ambulance and carried out CPR.

He was in a coma for eight days before dying on August 24.

In the weeks leading up to his death doctors at Northlands Surgery in Calne, where Mr Goss was a patient, noted he was increasingly anxious and couldn't concentrate.

The father-of-three had a history of alcoholism and was staying with friend and nurse Miss England in Swindon when he died.

"He didn't want his treatment to affect his children," Mrs Goss said.

"Mandy was a good friend and as a nurse she thought she could look after him."

Mr Goss was probably best known in Swindon for running Infinitely Better, a film, music and sport memorabilia shop in the Brunel Centre.

Film fans would often queue for hours outside as celebrities such as the Red Dwarf cast and Bond girl Britt Ekland signed photos and memorabilia at the shop.

But in July 2006 Infinitely Better went into administration.