Family's life-saving donation

By James HoreA FAMILY who have fundraised tirelessly since the death of their son two days before his 18th birthday have presented vital life-saving equipment to a doctor's surgery.

By James Hore

A FAMILY who have fundraised tirelessly since the death of their son two days before his 18th birthday have presented vital life-saving equipment to a doctor's surgery.

Andrew Gard, from Frinton, was a healthy young man who loved sports and had played hockey for Essex, but he was struck down with an undetected heart defect in 1997.

Since the teenager died, his family have campaigned on behalf of the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity for the introduction of heart testing for all young people.


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His parents, Caroline and Peter, and his sister, Cathy, have now presented an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine to the Walton on the Naze practice of Dr Jonathon Geldard.

After Andrew died, his family campaigned to raise general awareness about Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

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Their fundraising has also provided ECG machines, which detect possible heart problems, for the children's ward at Colchester General Hospital and the General Practice in Frinton.

Harwich MP, Ivan Henderson, was also at the presentation and he praised the work of the family on behalf of the charity.

"The work of Caroline, Peter and Cathy on behalf of CRY is truly inspirational and it was through their efforts that the all-party CRY group was established at Westminster," he said.

"None of us who were present at the launch will ever forget the dignity, courage and determination displayed by the families who represented CRY and it is a privilege to support the Gards at this further fantastic achievement.

"CRY's message is an important one and the charity could not have better ambassadors than Caroline, Peter and Cathy. This ECG machine will be of great benefit to the whole community.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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