Tale of family tragedy raises awareness

By Martin Neville

Monday, February 10, 2014

 

Tale of family tragedy raises awareness

Isle of Wight couple Andrew and Gemma Quew on their wedding day.

THE heart-breaking story of a Ryde man’s tragic loss is recounted in a powerful and moving new booklet for the partners of young people who have lost their lives to sudden cardiac death.

In May 2011, Andrew Quew’s wife, Gemma, mum to their two-year-old daughter, Caitlin, died at home from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

Andrew returned home from work, having tried unsuccessfully to make contact with Gemma, to discover she had died, with Caitlin at her side. She was aged just 30.

On Valentine’s Day, bereavement experts from the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) will unveil Young Sudden Cardiac Death: A Partners’ Grief, a booklet featuring ten personal 'essays’ from people who talk through their experience of suddenly losing a loved one.

As part of his chapter, Andrew, writes: "Losing someone I thought I was going to grow old with has been devastating. Despite reassurances that I could not have saved her if I had been there, I still believe I could have made a difference.

"I feel guilty my child has been deprived of a happy childhood as she has lost the most important person in her life."

Every week in the UK, 12 young people die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

Around 80 per cent have no signs or symptoms and so the only way to detect a potentially sinister cardiac abnormality is by having a CRY screening test.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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