DOCTORS have received vital equipment to test for
heart defects thanks to the ‘awesome’ courage of a bereaved mother.
Diane Tolley of New Road, Bewdley, whose teenage
son Robert died suddenly while out on his bike four years ago, is celebrating
the success of her £5,000 fund-raising campaign to pay for an electrocardiogram
(ECG) machine for Bewdely Medical Centre.
The machine is in memory of former Bewdley High
School pupil Robert Poyser, who died age 15 of a previously undiagnosed heart
Mrs Tolley has run her campaign under the
umbrella of CRY, a Surrey based organisation that supports parents whose
children die suddenly of the condition, cardiomyopathy.
It wants Government funding for a national
cardiac screening programme for all young people to detect defects before it is
The Bewdley machine is one of 24 that CRY has set
up in the country in response to shocking figures showing at least four
young people die a week from heart defects they never knew they had.
Founder and chief executive, Alison Cox, whose
son Steven could not follow his father Mark Cox into professional tennis because
an American university screening discovered he had a cardiac defect, praised Mrs
Tolley’s ‘extraordinary hard work’ following her tragedy.
‘It is awesome what she has achieved after all
that she went through. It takes immense courage to turn such suffering into
something so positive, ‘ she said.
Mrs Tolley said: ‘Screening would prevent this
appalling waste of young life and tragedies like we have been through.’
‘Since Robert died I have been in contact with
two families, in Wolverhampton and Brierley Hill, who have lost their children
in this way.’
She said the community had given her ‘wonderful
support’ raising money through car boot sales, marathon runs and other means.
She explained Robert had always seemed fit and
enjoyed sport and the family had no idea of the heart weakness.