The fiancee of a Garstang footballer who died suddenly from a massive heart attack just over a month before his autumn wedding is to launch a charity appeal in his memory.
And, in a special tribute to the paramedics and medical staff who fought to save the life of Adam Swanwick, his long-term partner Louise Ayre has organised a community charity event in their town on their wedding day later this month.
Adam, 28, from Catterall, who was known by his nickname ‘Jags’, was the passenger in a car being driven by Louise to their wedding reception venue at Lancaster Golf Club to select their wedding breakfast, when he collapsed on September 2.
Despite emergency first aid given by Louise and paramedics, Adam later died in intensive care at Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Louise, 26, said: “What has happened is absolutely devastating, but if I can use this to make just a little bit of a difference, and prevent just one person going through what I have been through, it will be worth it and I would be chuffed.
“I’m determined to put my energies into something good, and raising awareness is so important.”
She is aiming to set up the A.D.A.M Appeal (After Death Appears Miracles), and hopes to raise awareness and funds for young person’s heart charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).
The couple were due to marry at Garstang St Thomas’s Church on Saturday, October 27.
Determined the day will still be one of celebration, Louise, supported by family and the couple’s close friends and wedding guests, has organised a charity football match and family fun day at Adam’s beloved Garstang Football Club.
The fixture will be a battle of the sexes, with Adam’s past and present Garstang FC team-mates ‘Team Jags’ taking on ‘Lou’s Ladies,’ with Adam’s sister Ann and sister-in-law Pam Bailey and her best friends, under the coaching of Adam’s brother Paul Bailey.
She said: “The 27th would have been our special day, and it really was so peculiar – just a day or two after Adam died I was thinking what can I do to get me through this day.
“I had an idea for a kickaround with all our mates and family, girls versus boys, and then drinks in the pub.
“I mentioned it to a few people how we could do it for charity, and it has just grown and grown.
“It is quite overwhelming, really, but brilliant.”
The club will host the event at the Riverside ground. It will begin at 10am and, as well as the match, will feature a range of activities from charity auctions, raffles and stalls to kids’ entertainment, live music and disco for the evening.
Numerous Garstang businesses are supporting the event, and Louise said donations for prizes, with everything from sports memorabilia to beauty packages, had been ‘incredible.’
All the money raised from the event is to be donated to Lancaster Infirmiry’s Intensive care unit.
“Everybody in Garstang has just been fabulous – there are so many stories. I have been so touched by the kindness of people from all over, and it has been quite overwhelming really.
“From people we’ve known for a long time to those I don’t – so many have heard about Adam, and want to do their bit.
“The support has been quite unbelievable, and I am very lucky to live in a place like this where everybody looks out for you.”
A sale of raffle tickets round the pubs on the weekend has already raised more than £500, and Louise said they hoped to take the total to £5,000.
Landlord of the Kings Arms in Garstang and Garstang FC sponsor Mick Gornall said: “Adam was not just a customer – he was a good friend.
“I don’t think I ever seen a funeral as busy – the streets were full.
“It is very important for us –in Garstang we are like one big happy family, and Jackie and I want to do our bit.”
Adam’s good friend and colleague from Collinsons Ltd Ian Wormleighton, who will play on the day, added: “We want to be there for Louise and the family.
“It is hard – Adam was loved by so many people – always had a smile on his face and would do that extra bit for anyone.
“He would love the fact that all his mates and family will be there in one place.”
Tickets for the fun day cost £4 if booked in advance, and £5 on the gate, under 12s accompanied by an adult go free.
The doors open at 10am, with k.o. for the charity match at 11am. To buy tickets call Louise on 07823882125 or Paul on 07921761435. They are also available from B&S Supplies.