In September 2013 the community of Llanishen was left devastated after the sudden death of 13 year old Owen Morris from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Following Owen’s tragic death, his family and friends set up a group called “Remembering Owen” – from June 5th to 6th 2014, over 160 riders cycled from Cardiff City Stadium along the Taff Trail to Brecon, camping overnight and cycling back to Cardiff the following day, finishing at Cardiff High School where Owen was a pupil.
Family friend and main organiser of the event, Judith Hassey, said: “So many hearts have been touched by the loss of Owen and this cause. Men, women and children, including many of Owen’s friends, have got on their bikes and trained for ‘Owen’s Ride’. Up until now the vast majority of the cyclists have been no further than the end of their garden paths but they, and the whole community, have pulled together with determination to make this event a huge success for Owen.”
The organisers of the event were particularly delighted to announce that CRY Patron John Barrowman MBE (who has strong connections to the local area) would be joining the riders at 7.30am to officially open the event!
Owen’s parents, Dr Roger and Dr Mel Morris, said: “We miss Owen every second of every day. He was such a sunny happy enthusiastic boy, and this has left such a hole in our lives. It’s been an incredibly tough 10 months for the family. We would like to thank everyone who has been busy organising the cycle ride and raising money for CRY. Hopefully, one day, through their research, we will understand and prevent this happening to another young person and their family.”
On September 2nd 2013, Owen had spent the day playing with his friends and was completely well. That evening he went to rugby training with his team, Llanishen RFC under 14s. During the warm up he suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the University Hospital of Wales. He was diagnosed with a cardiac rhythm problem. Despite the best efforts of the emergency staff, the paediatric ICU, and the paediatric cardiology team, Owen sadly died in the early hours of the following day.
Alison Cox MBE, Chief Executive and Founder of CRY, said: “It takes great courage and determination for anyone who has been affected by young sudden cardiac death to be able to see beyond their own situation and to want to raise funds for CRY. I would like to say a huge thank you to Owen’s family, Judith and the whole team of organisers – as well as our Patron, John, who will also help to raise the profile of this wonderful event in Wales for us.”
Owen’s Ride’ and ‘Remembering Owen’ have so far raised over £46,000.
These photos were taken by Chris Seal.