Shock death of son (22) raises awareness of heart condition

Cry Screening at Garstang Community Academy
Cry Screening at Garstang Community Academy

Parents of a 22-year-old who died from a heart condition have held an event to stop other parents going through what they did.

Catterall couple Barry and Paula Hesmondhalgh lost their son Matt to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) in August 2011 and since then have been raising awareness and funds for CRY (Cardiac Risk In The Young).

Matthew Hesmondhalgh

Matthew Hesmondhalgh

And the family has now held their fourth CRY screening event at Garstang Commuunity Academy with 197 young people being given an ECG and a follow up a talk with a cardiologist. Six people required a follow-up appointment.

Barry and Paula fundraise every year to raise the £7,000 to put on the event and Paula says it’s so important to keep doing it.

She said: “We do it to stop other parents going through what he had to. It’s devastating to lose a child, that’s the only way I can put it.

“If we can stop it happening to other parents then it couldn’t be more worth it.

If we can stop it happening to other parents then it couldn’t be more worth it

Mum

“The pain isn’t just the day they go it’s every day after that. We’re really pleased so many people came and hopefully those that needed follow ups can be sorted.”

The event took place over two days and was completely free thanks to the fundraising efforts of Barry, Paula and all the local people who donated to the cause.

To donate to their appeal go to - http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/matthesmondhalgh