Helping hearts – Mary races to help others

A Hampshire woman whose 16-year-old son died from sudden heart failure took on a national running challenge for women to raise money for a charity fighting the condition.
Dozens of local women, including Mary Abraham from Southampton, completed the 5Km Flora Light race in Hyde Park, London, earlier this month.
Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) is campaigning for national heart screening to be made available to all, including the very young.
Mary’s son Philip, who attended Western Park Boys School in Southampton, died six years ago from an undetected heart problem. She Said: “It happens more often than people think – these conditions cause the deaths of at least four young people a week and it can affect children as young as five and six.”
Mary and other fundraisers in the area have helped to raise around £12,500 for the charity over the last five years. They are planning tobuy an ECG machine – which monitors the heart – for Bitterne Health Centre.
Mary strongly believes lives could be saved if heart screening was made available to all because there are usually no symptoms with the condition. She said: ” My son died overnight. At the moment heart screening is not freely available but it should be because there can be undetected heart problems.