Why I'll never class myself as an only child

Seven years ago, this is something I would never have come across, not even of thought of. No one would have ever associated me as being an only child. Why? Because seven year ago I had a brother.

This is something you would never expect to happen at such a young age. I was only 14 when I lost my only sibling. My older brother that I looked up to and idolised.

Today I’m writing this post to raise awareness of sudden adult death and support around families who are affected by this devastating circumstance.

Every week in the UK, 12 young (that is, aged 35 and under) people die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80% of these young people have no signs or symptoms just like my brother.

Sudden death syndrome (SDS) is a term used for the many different causes of cardiac arrest in young people, it’s normally recorded as ‘natural causes’ which to me seems so wrong. How can someone who was so active and healthy just go like that?

Personally, I feel like this cause is not talked about enough and me and my family are just left without answers. It was hard to believe how a young seemingly fit person who was always into extreme sports can just die so suddenly. You’ll never understand why him, why us?

My brother was such a caring and thoughtful individual, and I am proud to call myself his little sister, but the day he died, part of me died with him. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and what he would be doing.

You couldn’t be around him and not have a smile on your face – his smile was infectious. He was the one who looked after all of his friends and made everyone laugh, bringing everyone together. Me and my brother had such a lovely childhood and those memories will always be treasured in my heart.

For me, because this life event was so sudden and well, life changing my childhood grounded to a halt. From the age of 14 the realisation that life can just stop at any moment, spurred me into making him proud.

I felt like I had to live my life to the full as to be truthfully honest, I wondered what if this could happen to me? For months I feared falling asleep in case I wouldn’t wake back up but now its made me who I am today. I carried on my studies; went to college and university and achieved everything I set out to do.

This is why I’ve written this post today, as a lot of these young people have no idea they have a heart abnormality. Or you may not of even heard of this? I’ve noticed since my brother, more and more cases are being known in the UK so its important as ever that people get checked out. I’ve had dozens of tests to make sure but its important that if you feel any symptoms you get checked out.

Even though my brother isn’t here any more, I will never class myself as an only child when people ask. It feels wrong to admit that, after a sibling has been in your life for so many years.

I would never wish this upon anyone so if this can help at least one person out there or someone who has gone through a similar experience, then that will do me.

To find out more about Cardiac Risk in the Young please visit the website here.

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32 Comments

  1. February 17, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    Such a beautifully written and amazing post, Beth!! Your brother would be so proud of you!
    Such an important issue to raise as well. Loads of love girl xxxx

  2. February 17, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    This is a lovely post, and a brave one!
    Good on you for raising awareness too xxx

  3. February 17, 2017 / 4:13 pm

    I well up every time I read this. Such a strong girl and so delicately put. Important thing to share and raise awareness about but also a nice mini tribute to your bro. He’d be well chuffed gurl xxx

    • February 28, 2017 / 7:48 pm

      Aww katy! So glad you think so. Thanks lovely xxx

  4. February 17, 2017 / 4:14 pm

    That was so beautiful written. My eyes are literally welling up. It’s so heartbreaking to lose a sibling and so suddenly must of been so heartbreaking and scary. Your brother would be so incredibly proud of all you have achieved. You’re amazing and even more so for bringing to light something so personal so that is can help others. My thoughts are with you and your family, sending hugs. ❤

    • February 28, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      Thanks Taylor! Yeah it sure was! Thank you so much for saying that 🙂

  5. February 17, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    I loved this post Beth! It’s so touching and beautifully written and it’s encouraged me to go and get some tests done myself. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to lose a sibling but my thoughts and well wishes are with you and your family! Much love ♡

    • February 28, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      Thanks Sare! I’m glad to hear that, I want more people to! Thanks hun

  6. Sarah Dickinson
    February 17, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    Oh Beth swwetheart I’m so sorry to hear this. 😱😰😓

    Thanks for writing the post & raising awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, it is so important to do so.

    I bet your brother would have been proud of you for this & everything you have achieved in life xoxo

    • February 28, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      Thanks Sarah glad you agree! I do hope so xxx

  7. February 17, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    I’m so sorry you lost brother! This is a really great post though and will go some way to helping raise awareness! We need to all live life to the fullest! Xxx

    • February 28, 2017 / 7:54 pm

      Thank you! I do hope so, exactly 🙂 xxx

  8. February 17, 2017 / 5:19 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this Beth, you are so brave writing this post and it was so beautifully written ❤ xxx

  9. February 17, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother,I can’t even imagine how it must feel, such a brave thing to write about. I admire you so much for your strength and thank you for raising awareness and speaking out about it xxx

  10. February 19, 2017 / 5:45 pm

    So sorry to hear about your loss, it must have been very hard to deal with x

    LuxeStyle

  11. February 19, 2017 / 6:21 pm

    Such a lovely and personal post Beth, well done you for posting it!! Although things like this can be hard to talk about it you need to keep his memory alive and I’m sure he’d be so proud of you! Xx

    http://justlucyslife.blogspot.co.uk/

    • February 28, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Thanks Lucy! Your so right, thank you 🙂 xx

  12. February 21, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Sorry to hear of your loss! must be very tough but he would be very proud i’m sure of all your achievements

    • February 28, 2017 / 8:13 pm

      Thanks Catherine! I appreciate that 🙂

  13. February 23, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    It’s such a difficult one because often there will have been no symptoms to suggest that the person might have had a heart problem. I have had my heart tested and know that I do have a very slight issue with it that is now going to be monitored every 5 years, but I only had it tested because when my grandma had her bypass they told her it wasn’t due to old age, she’d always had the problem. I don’t know what it’s called but it is hereditary, I have it but both my mum and brother haven’t been tested. I really need to push him to go and get checked out x

    • February 28, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      Yeah it’s important people get tested!

  14. February 25, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    Yours is a beautiful soul, Bethany.
    All the best to you and yours.

  15. February 25, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Your brother would be really proud of your positive attitude to life following such an upsetting period of your life and also that you’re raising awareness and keeping his memory alive at the same time. I’ll share this as it’s such an important message. June x

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