Book could help prevent others losing loved ones

A woman who lost her 37-year-old sister to a heart attack has started campaigning to raise awareness of heart problems among young people.

Helen Franks, 42, of Uplands Road, Crouch End, lost her sister Jane 18 months ago and is now promoting a book to raise money and awareness of this inherited heart condition – which she also suffers from.

She said: "My sister was a fit, lively, healthy 37-year-old and she was sitting one day having a cup of coffee with friends and she collapsed and died.

"When the post mortem was carried out they could not find anything about her death. We felt very confused and very worried.

"My brother-in-law started to investigate what had happened. This organisation CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) were just amazing. They took the time to speak to me and my brother-in-law.

"I then started to go through tests and they found I have got the same condition as my sister had. It's genetic in my family.

"I had to go through surgery and have a defibrillator fitted."

Mrs Franks added: "It is not until something like this happens to you it focuses your mind completely. There were no signs of symptoms."

The book, 101 Reasons to Get up in the Morning, is a collection of celebrities' – from Tony Blair to John McEnroe – favourite inspirational quotes.

The collection of sayings, poems and other citations was compiled by 12-year-old Julie Tanner, whose 17-year-old babysitter died of a heart attack.

The condition Mrs Franks suffers from is called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) and it is, according to CRY, the second most common cause of unexpected death in young people in Britain.

The book is on sale in Prospero's, Crouch End Broadway, Muswell Hill Bookshop, Fortis Green Road, and Tree House Park Road, Crouch End.

Find out more about Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC)