Leeds families’ postcards in memory of tragic heart victims

Families supporting the CRY charity's new campaign.
Families supporting the CRY charity's new campaign.
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PARENTS from across Yorkshire whose children have lost their lives to tragic heart conditions have unveiled a new postcard campaign to help highlight the issue.

Jackie Harrap from Wakefield, Halina Reid from Garforth and Ruth Cain from Pontefract are amongst the 12 families helping to launch the latest campaign.

It aims to highlight the shocking statistic that 12 young, healthy people are dying every week in the UK from previously undiagnosed heart conditions.

The emotive new postcards – featuring 12 victims of sudden cardiac death – were unveiled by the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity at the Marriott Hotel in Leeds yesterday.

Hundreds of postcards will be distributed by CRY families and supporters to people across the north urging them to send it back to their local MP.

It is hoped the influx of postcards will encourage MPs to support CRY’s campaign and join the Cardiac Risk in the Young All Party Parliamentary Group.

Jackie Harrap, 51, from Wakefield, got involved with CRY after her daughter, Vicky Johnson, died suddenly from heart complications in 2003.

Vicky was just 20 years old and left behind five-month-old daughter Shannon Woffendin.

Shannon, who is now 11, is looked after by grandmother Jackie, who she calls ‘mum’.

Jackie said: “Even today, in 2014, there are people that don’t know anything about these conditions.

“I still don’t know what took Vicky but if I can help people to get screened and tested if they have got issues, it is worth it.”

The Reid family, from Garforth, became involved with the charity after the sudden death of their son Tom in 2009.

The former Garforth Community College pupil suffered a cardiac arrest at the age of 19.

Since his death, Halina and Antony have been working tirelessly to raise awareness of young sudden cardiac deaths as well as fundraising to support cardiac screening for young people in their local area.

Ruth Cain got involved with CRY following the tragic sudden death of her son Michael Land in 2012 from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. He was aged just 28.

Since his death, Ruth, and Michael’s father, Gary Land, have set up a memorial fund for CRY.

More than 170,000 postcards have been distributed across the UK to raise awareness and lobby support amongst MPs.

Chief executive and founder of CRY, Alison Cox, said: “I’m extremely grateful to all the families for agreeing to lend their support to this very powerful and effective campaign.”

FUNDRAISERS: Eva Walton (left) and Amelia Morris.

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