‘You have to make the most of the people who are here’

Louise Ayre with her new puppy Lady
Louise Ayre with her new puppy Lady

“This New Year we’re looking forward to getting rid of 2012 and welcoming in a much happier 2013.”

Those are the words of Louise Ayre, the 26-year-old who should have been celebrating her first New Year’s Eve as a newlywed.

Tragically three months ago, her fiance, Adam Swanwick, from Catterall, died after a sudden heart attack at the age of 28 on the way to taste the food for their upcoming wedding.

Louise, from Garstang, said: “Adam loved this time of year. His dad died just before Christmas eight years ago, and even though he had lost his dad around Christmas he still loved the time of year, so we have to try and hold our heads up and do the best we can.”

Adam died after a massive heart attack on September 2 as the couple were on their way to try food at what would have been their wedding reception venue.

But despite the devastation, Louise is determined not to be beaten by the tragedy.

She said: “Adam’s mum said he isn’t going to be here no matter what we do, so we just have to make the most of it and try and get through it and try and enjoy it a bit.

“We’ve had such an awful year. but we’ve got to try and have some fun, especially around the holidays.

“Two of my friends get married next year – one friend in January and my best friend in April – so we’re looking forward to happier times really. Adam would have been an usher at the wedding in April, so we want to make sure we have a happier 2013.

“If we have a bit of a laugh and a joke it doesn’t mean we’re not missing him and we’re not bothered that he isn’t here – we’re just getting through it.”

Since Adam’s death, Louise, her friends, family and local community have been raising money for charity, CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and have set up the A.D.A.M. Foundation.

On the day which would have been their wedding, Louise held a charity football match at Garstang FC and raised over £15,000 and a recent ladies’ night event made £1,500.

Louise, who went back to work as a legal secretary at the beginning of December, said: “All that I’ve been able to focus on recently was the charity stuff, but as that has died down and Christmas has come up it has been quite good to have something to focus on and I’ve slipped right back into it.

“It is an awful time of year when you have lost somebody because it’s just so sad.

“People think I’m crazy, but I still think about other people rather than myself. Some of my friends are going through a tough time – they’re missing Adam too – and for other people it will be the first time they don’t have somebody there too.

“You have to make the most of the people who are here – absolutely.”