Joseph Leyland

leyland-josephI would like to share with you a story about my little brother Joseph Leyland.

Joe had turned 16 early in August 2016, and had just received his GCSE results (which he passed with flying colours). He enjoyed various activities such as: swimming and running, (but due to his increased symptoms of breathlessness, chest pain and palpitations), he had to stop these. His symptoms later included: dizziness, headaches and blackouts. Over the last 6 months of his life these became worse and was seen by a cardiologist. Joe had various tests such as: ECGs, echocardiograms and exercise tolerance tests-all of which came back as being normal. As Joe’s symptoms were intermittent, it was noted that unless he had experienced symptoms during the actual procedures, they would never have shown anything abnormal.

On the 29th August 2016 after a lovely family day out to Bakewell, Joe suddenly collapsed at home and died. From that day on, our lives changed forever. He had been well during the day, laughing and joking as normal with no inclination of what was to happen later that day. Following extensive tests, it was found that Joe died of cardiac failure due to a rare condition known as mitochondrial myopathy-in which the cells energy production is affected- and in Joe’s case weakened his heart and decreased its function.

Joe was such a caring and thoughtful individual, and I am proud to call myself his big sister, but the day he died, part of me died with him. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and what he would be doing, but it is my mission to make him proud of me, just like I was proud of him. He will always be my angel and he will be in all of our hearts.

Charlotte Leyland