Donna & Rich Fell – East Yorkshire

donnarichfellWe live in Hornsea, East Yorkshire which is a small seaside town on the East coast. We are honoured to be asked to represent CRY in East Yorkshire.

We lost our son Josh, aged 15, on the 9th June 2011. He went out to play football with his friends on a warm summer’s evening and that was the last memory we have as he passed away on the football field at his school.

Josh loved football and loved Hull City. He would go to the school to play football with his friends every night and went to all of the Hull home games and some away games. Josh was a popular young man and had many friends who looked up to him.

He had a zest for life and always had a smile on his face. We were amazed at the amount of friends Josh had, showing us how well-loved and popular he was among his peers – and still is now.

The worse thing for us was waking up our 9 year old (at the time) daughter the next day to tell her that her brother had passed away. That will stay with us forever. Our families and friends rallied round and I’m not sure where we’d be without all of the support.

We had to wait 4 weeks to find out the cause of death and when it came back as SADS we were at a loss as to how a perfectly healthy, fit 15 year old boy could just have his whole life taken away from him in the blink of an eye.

Even today we still can’t believe that our beautiful, healthy son has gone, leaving a massive hole in our lives.

Two of Josh’s 14 year old friends tried to revive him until the paramedics arrived but it was too late, he’d gone. He was just 15 years old. How could he just not come home?

We were sat in the Coroner’s Office weeks later, waiting for the Death Certificate, when we were handed a CRY leaflet by the Coroner. It was at that point we knew straight away as a family – including our daughter, Jasmine – that we would do whatever we could to raise funds and awareness for Cardiac Risk in the Young.

People soon became involved with the fundraising – even at Josh’s funeral with the support of our family and friends and Josh’s beloved Hull City, where we celebrated his life with a sea of Hull City shirts. People were standing inside and outside the church; the community really came together to support us. We were overwhelmed by people’s generosity towards CRY and we knew we had to do something positive from Josh’s death. Since then we have achieved so much.

Since losing Josh we have both managed to work full time; I’m not sure how we manage it at times, but it keeps us occupied. Jasmine has now started at the secondary school where her brother passed away and every time she goes onto the field she is reminded of her brother.

We are fortunate enough to be able to fund screening events every year and our main focus of fundraising is to raise awareness of these hidden heart conditions and to support CRY however we can. Without CRY we don’t know where we’d be today.

We have both written our stories for CRY. Rich was asked to write for the Fathers Grief booklet in 2013 and I have written on the My Story website.

Not a day goes by without us thinking or talking about Josh. He will always be our son and it remains for us to ensure his legacy and memory live on. Our aim is to make a difference to other people’s lives and even save lives with the screening and raise awareness.

You should never out live your children!

If you would like to contact one of our Representatives or a Bereavement Supporter please call the CRY office at 01737 363222 or e-mail cry@c-r-y.org.uk and we will put you in touch with someone who may be able to help you.