Our daughter Hannah died suddenly in her sleep in February 2007. She was just 7 years old. Hannah was the twin to Lucy and brother to Oliver.
With just 16 months between the births of Oliver and the girls we had had a busy time, but the children were a great team and we were starting to have a lot of fun together. Hannah died on the last night of our skiing holiday in France.
That Friday night we experienced in France, was the most dreadful experience of our lives and is something I would not wish anyone else to ever have to experience.
When we eventually managed to get Hannah’s body back to the UK, we argued strongly for an expert to conduct the autopsy.
Hannah had had a pacemaker fitted at the age of 3 as a result of an unusual heart anatomy. Despite this, she was a normal active 7 year old girl and sudden death was never a considered risk.
She had just completed a week skiing which she loved, and just 3 months earlier she had been fully screened prior to a general anaesthetic for a minor operation on her ears. It seemed so wrong that she was taken from us at 11.30pm, when she was asleep.
Mary Sheppard the pathologist at The Brompton, conducted the autopsy and said she could find no true cause of death and would put it down to a lethal arrhythmia. It was Mary who told us about CRY.
We immediately looked up CRY on the internet and realised they were a very relevant charity to us. We have since been active in raising funds for CRY, and have also been successful in raising awareness in our home town of Harpenden. The money we raise goes specifically to fund coroners referrals to Mary Sheppard. We believe no family should have to wait for an answer as to why their loved one died, and Mary pledges to give them results within 14 days of the referral. We hope that by Mary conducting more and more autopsies more data will be collected and hopefully eventually research carried out that will prevent some of the sudden cardiac deaths occurring.
I feel passionate about the work CRY does and would like to help CRY raise further awareness and money to fund research.
Hertfordshire is a big county and I feel honoured that CRY have asked me to be a Representative and look forward to helping the county move forward and work to reduce the tragic numbers of Sudden Cardiac Deaths per week.
If you would like to contact one of our Representatives or a Bereavement Supporter please call the CRY office at 01737 363222 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with someone who may be able to help you.