After a Young Sudden Cardiac Death

CRY has a dedicated bereavement support programme to support families after the tragedy of the sudden cardiac death of a young person aged 35 or under.

So many people have contacted CRY wondering if there are others they could talk to who have suffered similarly. No matter how much professional support is offered (either medical or therapeutic), sometimes just speaking to someone who has been through a similar experience, or reading their personal stories, helps the most. CRY’s Founder, Alison Cox, developed the CRY Bereavement Support Programme with this in mind.

CRY has a network of Bereavement Supporters who have themselves been affected by a young sudden cardiac death. They have completed a two-year British Association of Counselling (BAC) accredited course so that they can offer support, over the telephone, to others.

As well as emotional support, CRY also offers clinical support through expert pathology and expert cardiology.

It is advised that all first-degree relatives undergo cardiac testing following a sudden cardiac death, and it is important that the family is seen by an expert cardiologist. CRY can offer advice about family screening after a tragedy.

If you would like to speak about bereavement support or would like advice about expert pathology or cardiology, please contact CRY’s support team on 01737 363222 or email cry@c-r-y.org.uk.

Emotional Support

Individual

Telephone bereavement support is available to anyone over the age of 18 who has been affected by a young sudden cardiac death.

The support offered with CRY’s Bereavement Supporters is for up to six months, however there is no pressure or obligation. Some people find they would just like a few calls, whilst others would like to talk to their Bereavement Supporter for the entire six-month period.

Group

CRY’s offers group support for family and friends following a young sudden cardiac death in various methods; A National Family Bereavement Support Day which can be attended by family members (18+) who have lost a young person aged 35 or under; Annual walks in London and in Durham, giving families the opportunity to come together to remember young people who have died suddenly; and online support via Facebook groups, where people (18+) can connect and share experiences.

Support Resources / Booklet Library

CRY has developed a series of booklets which contain personal stories from beavered mums, dads, siblings, partners and friends. The series focuses on the grief specific to the relationship an individual has with the deceased. CRY has also developed two additional booklets for the series, one focusing on the Christmas period and the other on anniversaries following a young sudden cardiac death. All the booklets are free to order and/or can be read online. 

My Story

This area of the website is for those who have suffered the loss of young person due to a sudden cardiac death to share with others their experiences.

If you would like your thoughts to be included in this section of the website, please email your words, photos / images, songs, videos and poems to mystory@c-r-y.org.uk.

Medical Support

Pathology

CRY’s expert cardiac pathologist Professor Mary Sheppard leads the team at the Centre for Cardiac Pathology, based at St George’s Hospital, London

After a young sudden cardiac death expert pathology is essential.

At the CRY centre all investigations will be carried out within 2 weeks of the referral.

Professor Sheppard’s diagnosis provides vital information which will inform the way the specialist cardiologist will test all other family members (first degree relatives).

Cardiology

After a young sudden death it is vital that first degree blood relatives are tested by a specialist.

CRY’s expert consultant cardiologist Professor Sanjay Sharma leads a team of specialists at the CRY Centre for Inherited Cardiovascular Conditions and Sports Cardiology based at St George’s Hospital, London. The testing of first degree blood relatives after a young sudden death enable the medical team to asses if other family members are at risk of (and needing treatment for) the same condition that caused the tragedy. The testing also helps to understand what caused the young sudden cardiac death.

Information & Literature

CRY provides free information for the family and relatives of a young person who has died of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome – SADS.

CRY has produce a booklet with specific information about the possible causes of sudden death in young people and children. It concentrates on the medical conditions responsible for a sudden unexpected death where a definite cause cannot be found, even after a postmortem.

CRY can also provide information for GP practices and first responders.