A story by Beth Phillips
As an avid reader of the parish magazine, I am aware that my article is somewhat different to most of those featured within it. It’s not going to make for easy reading if you are relaxing on a Sunday afternoon with a cuppa. I make no apology for this though, as the message within it might just save your life, or that of a loved one.
On April 25th 2013, my fit, thirty-nine year old husband, Dunc, gave Sam, Thomas, and I, a kiss, and told us that he loved us, as he did every week when he left to play football with his friends. Just forty-five minutes later, Dunc collapsed on the pitch. Sadly, prolonged attempts to revive him failed.
Three weeks later, I received a phone call from the founder of the charity ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’ (CRY), who mentioned that Dunc’s previously undiagnosed heart condition could potentially be inherited by our two gorgeous little boys. At that moment, my world fell apart once again.
Why am I sharing this with you now? There are two reasons. Firstly, I want everyone to know about the signs and symptoms of undiagnosed heart conditions that claim the lives of twelve young people (aged 14-35) in the UK every week. These include:
- light-headedness or blackouts
- palpitations (a rapid and/or irregular heartbeat)
- chest pains (often as a result of physical exertion)
- shortness of breath (often as a result of physical exertion)
If you or a loved one experience any of the above, please don’t assume that the symptoms are normal/will pass/are just because you are a bit stressed. Do something about it. Do it for yourselves and for your loved ones. For the sake of a quick trip to your GP, it is just not worth risking your health and the future emotional well-being of your friends and family.
Secondly, I need your help to raise money to support the valuable work that CRY does. This includes:
- Supporting medical research into cardiac conditions
- Providing a specialist cardiac pathology service
- Screening young people aged 14-35 for undiagnosed cardiac conditions
- Providing a bereavement support service for affected families
- Developing a support network for young people living with cardiac conditions
Dunc would have celebrated his fortieth birthday this month. We are holding a family fun day and sponsored walk/run to mark the occasion on Sunday, March 23rd 2014, at the Sports and Social Club in Bishop’s Tachbrook, from 11a.m – 3p.m. I would like to invite you to join us on the day, to bake a cake, or to participate in the sponsored event. Please put the date in your diary. If you can help me in my efforts to raise money for CRY, I would be very grateful. I can be contacted via the Facebook page, ‘A Day for Dunc’, or you can leave a message on Louise Lewin’s phone, on 07886 866145.