My son, Daniel James Lowes, died suddenly on February 20th 2007 at around 9.30pm from an undetected heart condition – Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – at the age of 18.
Daniel had always been fit and healthy, very active. Daniel – as I'm sure all mothers would say about their children – was the most loving, caring son any mother could wish for. Daniel wasn't just my son but also my very best friend.
On the morning of the 20th February it was Daniel's day off college, so as usual he would catch up with some sleep. About an hour before I was due to leave for work, Daniel woke up and complained of a raging sore throat – which wasn't uncommon as most of Daniel's friends at college had the flu virus. He was fine within himself.
I left for work as normal and last spoke to Daniel on the phone that evening from work. He again seemed fine. I got in from work at the usual time of about 9.15pm to receive a phone call from Daniel's best friend to say could I come quickly as Daniel had collapsed and looked to be having a fit.
The alarm bells suddenly rang. Daniel had never had a fit and something was seriously wrong. Daniel had gone to football training as normal for a Tuesday evening and felt unwell so went to sit at the side. The players then noticed Daniel was laying down and just taking the odd breath. They tried to resuscitate Daniel whilst the paramedics were on the way, but Daniel just completely stopped breathing.
I arrived on the football pitch to see paramedics shocking Daniel's chest with a defib. I couldn't believe what I was seeing – it was like I was in another world. My fit and healthy, beautiful son was obviously dead.
Daniel was rushed to hospital where I held his hand as they pronounced him dead. No parent should have to go through this. Losing Daniel has left the biggest hole in my life. I will never again have the chance to see his wonderful smile, hear his contagious laugh, feel his loving cuddles. If only schools and colleges could have screening it would maybe save a lot of lives and prevent parents from going through what I am going through.