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.