Seaham mum has completed heart charity walk every year since tragic sudden death of her beloved son

A mum has completed a charity walk every year since her son died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition minutes after finishing a half marathon in 2012.

Sunday, 13th October 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 11:24 am
Patricia Toft with family and friends at the walk. Picture by Doug Moody Photography.

Kevin Paterson was just 36-years-old when he collapsed, just minutes after completing the Birmingham Half Marathon.

He sadly died on his way to hospital of an undiagnosed heart condition.

Since his death his family has raised tens of thousands of pounds for the charity, CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).

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Kevin Paterson

Now his mum, Patricia Toft, of Seaham, is continuing to raise awareness of the the risks young people face.

Patricia, along with family and friends, has been taking part in the Durham walk for the past seven years since Kevin’s death in 2012.

She is currently looking to put on another screening event with CRY.

Patricia Toft with family and friends at the walk. Picture by Doug Moody Photography.

Patricia joined with 200 other walkers on Saturday, October 5, for the 10th annual CRY Heart of Durham Walk – which has raised around £75,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young since its launch.

Patricia said: “We all feel really strongly about continuing to raise awareness. At the walk, you look around and know that other people know how you’re feeling. It’s sad, but it is comforting”.

Kevin, who hailed from Seaham but lived in Birmingham with his wife Katy, had no idea of the heart defect and collapsed after crossing the finishing line of the Birmingham Great Run in October 2012.

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

In 80% of these cases, there will have been no warning signs or symptoms, which is why the charity believes that screening is so vitally important.

CRY’s pioneering screening programme now tests over 30,000 young people aged 14 -35 every year.

Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of CRY, adds: “Our annual Durham Walk, now in its 10th year, is just one example of an ongoing dedication to helping us spread the word about CRY’s important work in the prevention of young sudden cardiac death.”