In loving memory of a beloved son

Mid Devon Advertiser/Post – 19th April 2002

The family of a 21-year-old Kingsteignton man who collapsed and died suddenly are campaigning to heighten awareness of suddendeath syndrome.

Daniel and Rosemary Lumm lost their son, Daniel, one morning in January. He came downstairs and remarked to his father that he felt light headed, he then collapsed. Daniel was dead when paramedics arrived at their Kingsteignton home shortly afterwards.

Last month an inquest into his death recorded the cause as unascertainable.Daniel_Lumm

Mr Lumm said: ‘Various things were touched upon, carbon monoxide poisoning was one but the house was given the all clear. Then the thought was epilepsy, because my brother is epileptic, but we didn’t think that was it.

‘Then we found CRY on the internet, and it just seemed to be appropriate. They have been really helpful to us.’

CRY, Cardiac Risk in the Young, is a charity that raises awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome and offers help and support to affected families and proactively campaigns for heart screening of young people – a move that may have saved Daniel’s life.

Young people who are relatively sporty stress their heart the most and while sport does not not lead to cardiac arrest, it can aggravate an undetected condition.

Mr Lumm said: ‘What comes over in all these cases is that the victims were young and fit. Daniel was very fit. He went to the gym and he ran.’

Sudden death syndrome has claimed the lives of many promis­ing sports people. Daniel Yorath, son of the former international footballer and manager of Wales, Terry Yorath died in 1992 at just 15. He was having a kick about with his father shortly after being signed by Leeds United when he collapsed and died.

Established in 1995, CRY has a heart screening programme with mobile units that screen young people in the community that can detect heart abnormalities. If a young person is diagnosed then drugs and in some cases, surgery can reduce the risk.

‘All we’re concerned about, because we’ve been through it and we can’t change what’s happened, is that if CRY can help somebody not go through this, then something would have been achieved.’

“Up until seven or eight years ago, no one had really considered this problem of young sudden death. Between four and eight young people per week are dying. Now, in the context of the whole country, that may not seem very many but if anyone is going through. what we are still going through, then it is terrible and to be honest, it gets worse before it gets better.”

Mr and Mrs Lumm have benefited from the support network that CRY and their relationship with the Church has offered them: “It has been good to talk to people who have sadly. lost children. Other people have been good. People who have lost parents and people who have lost babies early on, as much as I have every sympathy for them and they’re loss is as great as ours, it’s not quite the same.

“When we do talk to people who have lost children – 21-year-olds, who you expect to go out and make a name for themselves – we can say how we feel and they just say: “We know, we’ve been there”

The couple are keen to start fundraising but have been advised by the charity to leave it for a year. Mrs Lumm said: “Part of me wants to get stuck in now and raise money for more research but you’ve got to go through the grieving process first.”

In the future, the Lumms want to organise the CRY Mobile Screening unit to visit the local football club and Teign School where Daniel was a pupil.

Mr Lumm said: “The grief is something we never knew and now we know, so if we can do something to help somebody …”