Battle after son's death

A grieving dad whose student son collapsed and died without warning has launched a campaign to save other families from the tragedy of sudden adult death syndrome.

David Stubbings wants to raise thousands of pounds to enable young people to have heart tests to ensure they are not at risk of SADS, the equivalent of cot death in young adults.

The Belle Vue builder spoke out after an inquest recorded a verdict that his 22-year-old son, Carl Stubbings, died from an unascertained natural cause.

There were no warning signs before the Leeds Metropolitan University languages student collapsed at his parents’ home in St Ursula’s Road, last May after watching late-night television.

Now Mr and Mrs Stubbings are waiting for Carl’s sister, Donna, aged 20, to be screened to see if she might be at risk of the condition, which is responsible for about one in 400 adult deaths, because it can be hereditary.

Since the tragedy Mr Stubbings has become a fervent supporter of CRT, the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity and support group, which is campaigning for heart screening and ECG testing programmes.

His initial target is to raise thousands of pounds for CRY with events and then launch the Carl Stubbings Memorial Fund to provide funding for heart monitors in Doncaster.

“If we save just one young person we will feel we have done our job. We just want to make people aware of this condition,” said Mr Stubbings, aged 47.

“There will always be a gap in our lives after the loss of Carl and we don’t want other people to suffer that as well. There were no warning signs for Carl, and 95 per cent of people have never heard of SADS, but it can be prevented by a screening programme.”

Pathologists Amju Verghese told the inquest there was no evidence of heart or other organ disease when she carried out a post mortem examination.

She said a definite cause of death could not be established despite extensive investigations.

the Doncaster Coroner, Stanley Hooper, said Carl had just finished his college exams and there was apparently nothing wrong with him when he collapsed at home.

Carl had worked at Reg Vardy for two years before going to college to study Spanish.

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