Seaham family complete charity walk in memory of son who died from undiagnosed heart condition
A Seaham family have paid tribute to their son who passed away in 2012 by taking part in the 12th annual Heart of Durham Walk, organised by a leading heart charity.
Patricia Toft and her family took part in the walk, organised by Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) to remember her son Kevin, who sadly passed away aged 36 in 2012 from a previously undiagnosed heart condition after running the Birmingham Half Marathon.
Walking together under the new campaign name for 2021: #MyWalkForCRY, supporters set off at 11am on Sunday September 19, taking an 8km circular route, starting and finishing at Durham Amateur Rowing Club with some also taking part in the walk virtually.
This was the 12th time the charity had held the walk, which has raised over £80,000 since its inception.
Patricia was joined at the Durham Walk this year by other members of the Paterson family in memory of Kevin and to raise funds and awareness for the work of the charity.
She said: “Taking part in this event brings us together to remember Kevin and makes us feel like we are doing something to raise awareness and to stop other families going through what we went through. As Kevin’s mother, I’ll never give in. I will keep pushing and pushing to help stop future tragedies.”
Every week in the UK, at least 12 young people (35 and under) die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition, with 80% having no warning signs or symptoms.
To counter this, CRY’s pioneering screening programme now tests over 30,000 young people aged 14 -35 every year.
Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of CRY, said: “It really was wonderful to be back in Durham as our programme of events starts to resume following such a difficult and challenging 18 months for CRY – and charities all over.
“On behalf of everyone at CRY, I would like to thank Patricia and her family for taking part in this year’s event and playing such a key role in helping to heighten awareness of the work we are doing to prevent the tragedy of sudden cardiac deaths in young people. By coming together at events such as this, we can make an important difference.”