Jonathan Picker

Jonathan and I met back in 1997 and I knew I had found my perfect partner. We married the following year and had several wonderful years before we decided to have a family of our own. In 2002 I gave birth to our beautiful son Thomas. We had so many plans and dreams for our future, now these have been shattered and I have to make new plans alone for Thomas and my future.

It was Wednesday 27th October 2004, Jonathan was feeling tired having been on jury service all day, but as he was home early he decided to catch up with his friends and play 5 a side football. Jonathan got ready at home and was talking to Thomas, telling him how excited he was that he would be able to go out and buy little shin and ankle pads for him one day and how he was convinced that he would be a fantastic football player when he grew up and would play for England! That was the last time we saw Jonathan alive, he was a fit and healthy 33-year-old full of life and had everything to live for.

Within 45 minutes of Jonathan going out our front door I received a call from Jonathan’s best friend Andy, who informed me that Jonathan had taken ill and was being taken to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital accompanied by two of his friends. Nothing in the whole wide world could have prepared me for what came next – the consultant and the nurse walked in and broke the news that Jonathan had passed away. I remember screaming and shouting – the pain was excruciating. At that point my world fell apart, lots of things where popping into my head; we had a 2 year old beautiful son, he needed a daddy; what would I do without Jonathan he was my best friend, husband and soul mate – it was a very surreal experience.

That evening my own heart broken into a million pieces, as I had to tell Jonathan’s parents that he had passed away when they arrived at the hospital. I will never forget their faces, this will haunt me for the rest of my life. Even after 9 months I still feel like I am in a horrible nightmare that I cannot awake from.

The shock and numbness that I feel is indescribable. There is not a day that goes by when I do not mutter the same words over and over again, ‘why has my beautiful family been torn apart? Why did Jonathan have to go?’ But the sad reality is we will never know.

Jonathan was a hardworking loveable man. He had one those infectious personalities that everyone loved, and he was one of the most intelligent and quick-witted individuals I’d ever known. Everything Jonathan did during his life – whether it was sport or work orientated – he was successful, and so many of his friends aspired to be like him, including myself.

There were two loves in his life – me and our son Thomas. For both of us, having Thomas completed our life. Both family and friends used to comment how besotted Jonathan was with Thomas. Sometimes he was so over the top, only now looking back, it makes me wonder whether this was because Jonathan had to pack 50 years worth of love into 2.

During the last 2 years of Jonathan’s life he commented on the odd chest pain that lasted several minutes, but we always put it down to exercise or tiredness due to the amount of driving he did to his office in the south. Also just under a year before his death he felt dizzy and had several chest pains again lasting just a few moments; but having undertaken several tests Jonathan got the all clear.

Following Jonathan’s passing I discovered CRY one evening in the depth of my despair when I was searching for answers on the internet. I was shocked to see how many young people had been taken by cardiac illnesses. From that moment forward I made a decision; that Jonathan was not going to have died in vain, and that by raising funds and awareness other young people might be saved from dying and other families spared the suffering that we have had to, and still do, endure.

It has been 9 months since Jonathan’s passing and the pain is still so unbearable for all of us. We are not sure where we go from here but what we do know is that Jonathan will always be part of our lives and his memory will live on in those lives he touched.

Fundraising has already started with Jonathan’s friends. They have been so supportive to the family and have sought raise money and awareness about CRY. Jonathan’s friends organised a memorial football match and family fun-day back at the beginning of June 2005 and raised £2400.00. The team have also put in place a charity shield for both football and golf in memory of Jonathan, and we hope to run the events year on year. I personally would like to thank each and every one of the boys for their support, especially Andy, Phil and Mike who helped organise the match and family fun day. I would also like thank everyone that donated prizes and bought raffle tickets in order to make the fundraising a success.

Other fundraising events are by Leap Frog nursery, they are currently raising money from various events such as a summer fete and fun-run later this year.

A big thank you to all of you involved in fundraising and spreading the awareness of CRY.

Julie Picker