Amy's tragic tale could save lives

An 11-year-old girl who died suddenly in her sleep is to be featured in a postcard campaign to highlight the condition of sudden cardiac death.

Amy Williams, aged 11, showed no signs of illness when she went to bed on April 25, 2005, but died in the night at her home.

A coroner recorded a verdict of death by natural causes after hearing her heart had mysteriously stopped beating.

Now her family have agreed for her story to be used in Cardiac Risk in the Young's campaign (CRY) as they have been supporting the charity's fight for more heart screening.

Amy's father, David Williams, of Borderbrook Lane, Boothstown, said: "I'm happy that Amy's picture is being used in this campaign. I think it's great.

"Twelve young people die a week due to an undiagnosed heart problem and we need a screening system. I'd like to see every young person screened."

Amy lived with Mr Williams, her mother, Julie, and sister Nicola, now aged 20, and was a pupil at St Andrews School primary school in Boothstown.

Mr Williams, aged 49, said: "Amy was the most sporty member of the family which is the saddest thing about it – it is often active people.

"She was a typical 11-year-old and was very outgoing and loved dancing.

"I'm sure Amy would be quite happy to be involved and hopefully she can help raise awareness."

When the charity's campaign for screening was launched in 2004, eight young people lost their lives a week. this figure now stands at 12.

Alison Cox, chief executive and founder of CRY said: "We feel as the incidence of sudden cardiac death rises, it is time to re-launch this campaign to emphasise the importance of screening and that so many of these tragic cases affecting young people could have been prevented."

The postcard, featuring photographs of 12 young people from across the North West who lost their lives suddenly to previously undetected heart conditions, is being launched today at Liverpool John Moore's University.

It coincides with the opening of CRY's latest cardiac screening clinic at the institute.

The postcards will be distributed across the region this month, with people urged to send them to their MP's to encourage them to back the campaign.

New cards will be launched regularly over the next 18 months, portraying victims from 12 different regions.