Few words do justice to the amazing women that she was. Caring, fun loving, dedicated, strong willed and affectionately stubborn at times! Jo was so many things to so many people. A loving and devoted wife to her darling husband John, an amazing protective and guiding mum to her beautiful boys Ollie and Max, a loving daughter to her mum and dad, Sue and Pete and a supportive and fun loving sister to Kate and Jon and what a good friend she was to her best friends Jo and Lizzie who meant so much to her. To her pupils she was a caring and dedicated teacher who had so much life ahead of her, so many pupils to inspire. Even those she may have only met briefly, remember a lovely genuine individual.
Devastatingly, so many people were cruelly denied the chance to benefit from Jo’s good nature and life…
On the evening of the 22nd December 2016, Jo went to bed like any other normal evening. In fact, preparing for Christmas with her cherished family. There was no warning that in the early hours of the 23rd Dec 2016 Jo’s family would be destroyed by her sudden death, at the young age of just 40. Jo died suddenly, in her sleep……no reason, no warnings, just sudden death in the middle of the night. Jo was unaware she wouldn’t get to see her Children and family again – Gone… …forever…. taken from the world….far too soon.
Jo suffered an unexplained sudden cardiac death whilst she slept. No prior symptoms, no indications.
Everyone that knew Jo was stunned by the sudden loss of such a wonderful individual. The funeral was very difficult – but made easier by the 100s of people who came to pay their respects to such a significant woman who had touched their lives in some way.
How did her family and friends cope with the grief that is to follow? The support of friends was vital; but the support from the medical profession & social services was non-existent.
Nothing volunteered, unless sought out. Nothing to help you through those dark, dark days, weeks, months…. the offer of sleeping tablets from the GP, but no explanation of what might have happened to Jo. No explanation of why she was taken so suddenly.
Finding out about CRY proved to be the light in the darkness for Jo’s family.
Within an hour of sending an email to CRY explaining the family’s situation CRY had emailed back with support. It clarified that when young people under 35 die suddenly it is highly likely the cause is cardiac related. Although Jo was 40, CRY explained that her first degree relatives would be eligible for screening.
CRY offered advice and information at a time when no one else could; they helped explain the inherited cardiac conditions which could have been responsible for Jo’s sudden death. CRY proved a lifeline to Jo’s family and friends during a very difficult and dark time.
It took three, agonising months for the coroner to finally record a verdict of SADS, Sudden Arrhythmic Adult Death Syndrome. A verdict which her family had expected and is a term used when the death is cardiac related but for which there can be no cause found from the post mortem.
Prof. Sharma and the whole CRY team are truly wonderful and have been such a support to Jo’s family at this difficult time.
Please donate or help raise funds for CRY in Jo’s memory. It would mean the world to us to think that other people could benefit from this tragic situation in memory of a truly wonderful Mother, Daughter, Wife, Sister, Auntie and Friend.
Research carried out by CRY will help to understand the cardiac conditions which kill 12 young people a week in the U.K. and also provide valuable bereavement support to many families affected by Sudden Adult Death. Please give. It would mean so much to us. Thank you. X
“Remembering you is easy, we all do it every day, but missing you is a heart ache that never goes away…” xx