On the morning of Sunday 12th October 2008, myself and my wife Beverley were sat at home with our morning cup of tea. Beverley had just returned from dropping our son off to do his local paper round.
When the phone rang, Beverley answered it and I immediately saw the colour drain from her face, she stared at me with her eyes welling up with tears, and unable to speak she handed me the phone. In the brief few seconds before taking the phone from her I racked my brains for something to prepare me for the bad news obviously coming, but no way in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined how bad it was really going to be!
Our daughter Amanda, aged 26, had recently moved to Austria with her boyfriend. They were both huge fans of skiing, and Austria in general, so when the opportunity came to live and work there they both jumped at it.
The call on that Sunday morning was from Amanda’s boyfriend in Austria, and it informed us that Amanda was dead! She had gone to bed the night before, and had not woken up that morning.
To say we were in shock is an understatement, and informing Amanda’s brothers of her death was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Amanda was young, fit, and full of life, always happy and always ready to try anything new, this could not possibly have happened to her.
As Amanda died in Austria, we had the added difficulty of finding out exactly what had happened. Thankfully Amanda’s boyfriend, and his family were in place to take on the difficult task of liaising with the Austrian authorities on our behalf and for this we are very grateful.
The post-mortem was carried out in Austria, and a verdict of natural causes was recorded! Amanda’s heart had stopped for no apparent reason! Unable to understand or make sense of these findings we began looking for answers.
Friends pointed us in the direction of CRY and we were amazed to find out how many people’s lives are affected in a similar way to ours (including people we know locally). We have made use of the CRY advice, and have begun a screening programme for the family, this in itself provides us with peace of mind regarding all other family members, but more importantly may help provide an understanding of the possible cause of Amanda’s death.
I have undertaken to complete a number of fund raising activities in order to help raise money for CRY in Amanda’s memory. One of the things I intend to do is run a number of marathons, London being the first. Amanda died at the young age of 26, and therefore 26 miles being run on the 26th of April, seems fitting.
Please help me raise money for CRY by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/petemccarthy