A Stockport mum who lost her 21-year-old son to ‘sudden cardiac death’ is urging all parents across the country to get their children tested.
Helen Brennan is marking 4 years since the sudden death of her son, Michael by reaching out to schools, families and young people across the North West with the simple message; “test your heart”.
Mum of 6, Helen, has teamed up with the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and pledged to talk openly about her own, tragic experience, in order to raise awareness of the screening programme (www.testmyheart.org.uk) that can identity hidden heart conditions in apparently fit and healthy young people.
Michael was just 21 when he died in his sleep – days before his much-anticipated Graduation from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Helen says; “Michael’s death was a terrible, terrible shock that left our family shattered. But, we pulled together, united in our grief and determination to do something positive in Michael’s memory.
“We got in touch with CRY and set up a Memorial Fund, which will allow us to fund specialist screening for young people across the North West.
“We’ll never know how things might have been different if Michael had been screened – I can’t allow myself to think that way. But I am always so shocked and scared when I come across young people and their families who still aren’t aware of CRY or the fact that at least 12 young people die every week in the UK from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.
“I therefore want to mark the anniversary – and gosh, how I hate that word – of Michael’s passing by making sure everyone across the North West knows about CRY.”
The first screening event in Michaels’ memory will take place next June – almost 5 years after his sudden death – but his family hope it be the start of many.
Anyone wishing to book into a free, CRY screening local to them, can do so in 3clicks @ www.testmyheart.org.uk