Walking the bridges for George

My name is Andrea and this year I’m taking part in the CRY Heart of London Bridges walk.

I’m doing this to help raise awareness of the invaluable work carried out by CRY and in memory of my brother George, who we lost to a sudden cardiac death in December 2020 aged 24.

Nothing could have prepared me for the shock of that phone call I received on Sunday 6th December 2020 at around 6.55pm.

When my mother’s partner called I couldn’t believe the words he said to me.

My brother had been found dead in his bedroom by my mother and her partner that evening.

George was just a fortnight away from completing his hairdresser qualifications and his tutor said he’d have passed with flying colours.

The outpouring of grief from the salon where George worked was testament to how popular, talented and loved he was. Not just by his colleagues, but by customers too; many who wrote personal stories of how kind and caring he was, and how professional and dedicated he was to his work.
The hairdresser who trained George immediately set up a crowdfunding page to help cover expenses for his funeral.
Our family were overwhelmed by the generosity of those who donated.
The tributes were also flooding in from George’s closest friends who were absolutely devastated by his sudden death.

George was such a special boy. He was born when I was 21, so he’d been a late addition to our family. He was a loveable child, wilful and with a great sense of humour, but he was also a deeply empathic person who would always be there for people in their time of need.
His presence is sorely missed by us all.

George was cremated in the following January after a lengthy process at the coroner’s office of establishing his cause of death.

We were so saddened to discover that George had an undiagnosed heart condition and that had been the reason for his cardiac arrest.
George had appeared healthy, energetic and full of zest leading up to his death. He seemed to be really fit, but obviously nobody knew what was happening inside his body.

Thats why it’s really important to me that awareness is raised about the danger of heart conditions that hide within young people who otherwise appear to be well.
With an average of 12 cardiac deaths occurring each week in young people; it is really imperative that as many people as possible know about the screening offered to young people over 14 by CRY.
I have managed to convince a couple of young people I know to go for this screening and I would like to see more young people coming forward too.
If CRY can detect treatable conditions before any damage occurs, it will help to save so many lives.
Since George’s death I have raised money for CRY through two Facebook birthday fundraisers, the twelve a week campaign and this year I’ll be taking part in the heart of London bridges walk with my fifteen year old daughter Liv- George’s niece.

George left a broken hearted mum behind, and the rest of his family and friends.
If anything positive is to come out of his death; it’s that more young people will go for screening and live long happy lives.
Having a heart condition is difficult but if it’s treatable there is no reason why a person cannot go on to live a long life.

Please talk to your young ones and look out for them.
Encourage them to get screened.

In June we will be walking for them all, the families and friends who have lost loved ones; and for our George- forever 24 ❤️