David Green was born on Sunday March 3rd 1991 at 3.27am. A beautiful baby boy who came into this world with a strong and wilful spirit that prevailed throughout his short life.
He loved his sports and played competitive sports from a very young age. His love for hockey and football continued until his last days. On December 1st 2010 our beloved son left this life. He quietly departed with no fuss or bother, dreaming maybe of his beloved hockey and football. A life lived to the fullest and a soul we were privileged to have met. So loved and missed.
The last words I spoke to my son David were “goodbye” as I left the house for work on Wednesday 1st December 2010 – words that I now find so hard to say. David had taken the day off as he said he didn’t feel up to working that day. The weather was freezing and it had snowed for the last couple of days. He had played hockey and football in freezing conditions that weekend and it had taken its toll on him.
I think about that morning often, wondering if I had missed any signs that would have maybe changed things – if I had stayed home that day would I have been able to keep my son with us? I know the answer is ‘no’, but as a mother I find it so hard to accept that I couldn’t protect my child.
That afternoon at 3 o’clock I was called into the office at work. Nobody said a word, just handed me the phone.
My husband said, “It’s David, he’s gone” – his voice barely recognisable as he tried to speak the words that no parent ever wants to let pass their lips; “he’s dead”.
I can’t recall that moment clearly, all I can remember thinking was once I get home it will all be OK, I will somehow fix it. It was like my mind and body had separated, looking in on an event that was happening to somebody else, not my family, not us. My sister drove me home. I can’t remember that journey, all I wanted was to see my boy to make it OK.
My husband had returned home that afternoon and went to wake David. As he entered David’s bedroom he called his name; there was no response, which wasn’t unusual from our 19 year old boy who loved his sleep. As he went to leave the room, he noticed a rash on David’s leg. He walked over to David’s bed and put a hand on him. He said David was so terribly cold and he pulled him from his bed and tried to resuscitate him – a memory that constantly re-runs in my husband’s memories. The emergency services were called but our beautiful son had left some hours before.
As we approached the house I saw the police car outside and I ran in and up to David’s bedroom. My big strong boy lay as though he was just sleeping. He looked so peaceful, as if he would any second get up and say “had you all going didn’t I?”
I put my arms around him and kissed his beautiful face, how cold he was. My boy was just cold, not dead. I didn’t want to leave his room. I wanted time to stand still. The police and my family took me downstairs as my boy left the house for the last time. My husband told our other three boys and the hours that followed will be etched in our hearts forever. The pain that engulfed our little house and family; the shock and disbelief at what life had just hit us with, giving no warning, no chance of fighting back.
It’s taken me three years to write this. I have wanted to, but couldn’t bring myself to put it on paper; to finally tell David’s story. A story that’s end came far too soon. A story that should have been full of his future, not about his death.
CRY have been part of our lives from the very beginning, from my first conversation with Alison Cox – a mother needing some answers, an explanation to how a healthy young man’s heart can just stop beating. We have these answers thanks to CRY.
As a family we had no knowledge that 12 young people die each week in the UK of undiagnosed heart conditions, until our son became one of the twelve. We have made CRY part of our lives and raise as much awareness as we can so that other families have a chance to fight back.