Craig Burling

My son Craig was 23 years old when he was taken away from us on the 23rd August 2011. We are left totally heartbroken and to keep asking the question “Why?”.

On Monday 22nd August, Craig came home from work at five o’clock as he normally did, but this particular day he was absolutely buzzing. He had just been to the travel agents and booked a holiday with his girlfriend Sarah; he was telling me about where they had booked to go and asked me if I would look on the Internet to check the trains to Manchester Airport. I said I would and he then said, “Well I had better get ready to go to football”.

He played six-a-side football every Monday – he loved his footie and he had been playing from the age of five. He got his footie kit on and shouted to me “See you later Ma!”.

Craig scored the winning goal that night with an apparent screamer. After the footie, the team went back to my eldest son’s to watch the Tottenham game on Sky. It was then that Craig mentioned to his friend that he had pain in his chest and down his arm. His mate replied, “That needs to be checked out” to which Craig replied, “Yes I will, but it will pass”.

They continued to watch the football game on TV.

Meanwhile, my husband and I went to bed at about ten to eleven that particular night. It was early for us but we were both shattered. We did not hear Craig come home, but just after midnight my husband heard a noise coming from Craig’s room. He rushed in to find Craig having a fit on the floor, and he was bleeding. My husband shouted for me and I quickly ran in and saw Craig on the floor with my husband holding his head. I rang the ambulance – I was hysterical by this time – and we were told to tilt Craig’s head back and with that he let out a gasp of air and then stopped breathing.

The ambulance crew were there within minutes and they tried to get Craig’s heart going but to no avail. Craig was pronounced dead at the local hospital.

Craig was a gentle giant with the biggest blue eyes you would ever see. Everybody loved Craig and he will be missed so much.

When we received the post mortem results we were told that Craig died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and left venticular failure. We now have the agonising wait for the rest of the family to be screened.

Craig was never ill, not even as a baby. We cannot describe what a huge gap this has left in our family. We miss him every day and every day is a struggle. It is not sinking in that he has gone.

We love you son.

Shell Burling