So many people have contacted CRY wondering if there are others who they could talk to, who have suffered similar problems. No matter how much professional support is offered (either medical or therapeutic), sometimes just chatting to someone “who has been through a similar experience” helps the most.
CRY has trained a network of bereavement supporters, all of whom have been affected by young sudden cardiac death. They have completed our two year BAC accredited Counselling Skills and Theory course so that they can support others through their loss. Our bereavement supporters are the corner stone of our telephone support.
Sue Ainsworth: On Sunday 11th April 2010, my Son, Jonathan passed away, suddenly in his sleep. Our family are still devastated and struggle to understand how a seemingly fit and healthy person, can have their life tragically end without any warning. I became involved with CRY when I realised that SADS had implications for my daughter. We were so supported that I wanted to give something back, in return for the help we received.
Diana Bower: My son-in-law Andrew was a healthy, successful and proud father-to-be. When he died suddenly aged 30, my daughter’s dreams were shattered. Having supported her through the ups and downs, I would now like to help others. Although times can still be difficult, watching my daughter and grandson laugh together brings me a happiness I couldn’t envisage after Andrew’s death.
Irene Broughton: My world changed forever on Sunday 2nd September 2007 when we found my 17 year old daughter Steffani had died in her sleep after going to bed a fit and healthy teenager. How could this be? I had never heard of SADS. The Internet led us to CRY who were a tremendous help to me in the early days and are still there for me. I hope I can help others by sharing my experience and being there to listen to and support people who have had a similar devastating experience.
Angela Butler: My son, Nathan, collapsed and died suddenly in his bedroom on the morning of 22nd February 2006 whilst he was getting dressed. Nathan was a happy, healthy and very fit young man and to be told that he’d died from an underlying cardiac condition was, and still is, very difficult to comprehend. I have had tremendous support from CRY and the bereavement support that I received after Nathan’s death helped me to come to terms with our loss and somehow gave me the strength to support my family. I hope that I can offer the same support to others going through the same terrible journey that I’ve gone through.
Sue Fisher: On June 28th 2012 my son Phil Standing died suddenly whilst playing cricket. He left a beautiful wife, twin boys of 21 months, and a sister. We were all devastated. A fit healthy young father with twinkling eyes was no more. How could that be! CRY’s team have supported me through the maze of grief and still do. I hope now that I can offer support to others who tread this harrowing journey.
David Foley: My son Nolan, died in August 2008, just days after his 30th birthday. He was relaxing at home on the morning of the first day of a weeks holiday when he collapsed and died, no warning or suspicion of any heart issue. The CRY charity helped my family in the following months to find reasons and access family screening and counselling. I hope to now to give back by helping to support others in some way however small.
Linda Goodwin: Our son Ashley completed London Marathons in 2005 and 2006. He died suddenly at home in July 2007 of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) the day after his 35th birthday. Words cannot describe the feeling of utter devastation in the following hours, days and weeks. Only the support of family, friends and CRY have enabled us to slowly rebuild our lives.
Shelagh Green: My husband, James, went off to play cricket in 2002 and didn’t come home; he collapsed and died from undiagnosed cardiomyopathy. His family, friends and I lost a wonderful person and we were all robbed of the future we thought we were going to enjoy together. I hope through bereavement support I can help others navigate life after their sudden tragic loss.
Marion Hayman: Our lives changed on January 3rd 2013, when our beautiful son, Jon died. He was always so active, fit and healthy. His death was sudden and unforeseen but he had been complaining of flu-like symptoms. He died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Grateful for the counselling, I received through CRY, I have become a bereavement supporter myself. The calls helped me immensely and I would like to offer others the same support, at this most traumatic, excruciatingly painful, time in their lives.
Joan Hillier: Laura was working during her vacation in her father’s GP surgery. She suddenly collapsed and died on 20 June 2003, aged 21, from undiagnosed arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). She was lively, witty, a fun person, a joy to know and is deeply missed by all who knew her.
Paul Hovhannisyan: We lost our son, Samuel, in October 2008 when he died in his sleep. He had been a perfectly healthy boy and this came out of nowhere. He had just started primary school and was the centre of our lives. Words cannot describe how we felt about this. Working with CRY has helped connect me with some wonderful people and restored some faith in the world, as well as aiding my own recovery from such an event. I hope to help other parents realise that they are not alone.
Diana Hunt: My son Matt Hadfield died on February 19th 2010, just short of his 30th birthday. His family and friends celebrate the special man that they loved and lost, but miss dreadfully the future life that they should have shared with him. I am proud of my involvement with CRY and hope that through my own experience I can help others to endure at this hardest of times.
Jane Lambert: The tragic and unexpected deaths of my children whilst sleeping, resulted from undiagnosed ARVC. In 1992, Jenny aged 17 died with no clear diagnoses. At that time inherited heart conditions were not widely known. When Adam died in 2011 aged 34, CRY was there for me, providing both invaluable information and support that I so desperately sought. I hope to be of support to others during these most difficult of times.
Bruce Lord: Our daughter Rachael (24) died suddenly in March 2008 from Cardiac Arrhythmia when swimming in the hotel pool whilst on holiday abroad with her partner. Doctors were investigating her fainting episodes. She was talented, level-headed, much loved and is sadly missed by everyone who knew her.
Ruth Lowe: I had never heard of SADS until 12 April 2004 when my only child Andrew died suddenly at 21, shortly before he was going to be married. Andrew rarely went to the doctor but had been experiencing symptoms no-one thought could be serious. We were left bewildered after his sudden death. I feel privileged to be a Bereavement Supporter and hope through my own experience I will be able to help others.
Katherine McNamara: My younger brother, Si, was on holiday in Croatia with a group of friends in July 2008 when he suddenly collapsed and died. He was 25 years old, and seemingly fit and healthy. It just didn’t make any sense and the future looked impossible. It was on the very first CRY Siblings Bereavement support day that I found people who truly understood and where no explanations were needed. I knew, from that day that I wanted to help others find that same support and way forward.
Carly Sykes-Blowers: My husband, Paul, died aged 28 playing football in April 2005. Extremely fit and healthy, he showed no signs of any problem. His death left me and our baby son devastated. CRY’s help and persistence enabled me to obtain a diagnosis other than ‘natural causes’ and ensured Thomas has ongoing screening, as Paul died of the genetic condition ARVC. CRY has proved to be the support network I needed on so many levels.
Vanessa Tardif: My fit and vibrant brother Simon (35) died suddenly in July 2004 of undiagnosed ARVC, leaving a traumatised wife and four young children. We are still devastated and shocked at his sudden death and miss him every day. I have ARVC and was fitted with an ICD soon after my brother died. I trained as a Bereavement Supporter to try and help others through their grief.
Jenny Thomas: Our son Nicholas, 25, died suddenly at the wheel of his car while waiting for the traffic lights to change on the 13th January 2005, from Long QT syndrome. No words can describe our devastation. He is thought of every hour of every day. With the support of family, friends and CRY we have been able to carry on and I hope my training as a Bereavement Supporter will enable me to help others.
Diane Tolley: My 15-year old son Robert was on a bike ride with his two best friends. During the ride, Robert got off his bike complaining of feeling dizzy. He collapsed and died, despite the best efforts of passers-by and paramedics. Robert died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. There were no warnings, signs or symptoms of this condition.
Sarah Willis: Our son, Jo, collapsed and died suddenly and unexpectedly on the 26th February 2005, after going for a Saturday morning run. He was 19 and in his first year at university. Jo was a good listener and always made time for people. In becoming a CRY bereavement supporter I want to help other parents or relatives who are facing similar tragedies – and to remember Jo by listening to others.
Please note that due to personal commitments, there may be occasions when some of our Bereavement Supporters are not available.
If you would like help from one of our Bereavement Supporters please call the CRY office on 01737 363222 or e-mail: email@example.com and we will do our best to put you in touch with someone.