Mum of 'beautiful' Lily calls for young people to have their hearts tested

15 year old Lily Webster from Stowmarket who died in 2012

Lily Webster who was a pupil at Stowmarket High School, was just 15 years old when she died during a PE lesson in 2012 - in the years following her death her mum Melanie Webster has raised thousands of pounds in her memory - Credit: Webster Family

In the wake of Christian Eriksen's collapse on Saturday, a mum from Stowmarket, whose 15-year-old daughter died in 2012, has spoken about the importance of young people having their hearts tested. 

Melanie Webster, 55, has fundraised in memory of her "beautiful" and "straight-talking" daughter Lily,  for the past nine years - enabling 1,219 young people in Suffolk to undergo heart screening. 

On Saturday afternoon football fans across the world were shocked when 29-year-old Eriksen had to be resuscitated on the pitch - his teammates, medical staff, and the referee, have all been praised for the quick way they responded. 

Stowmarket High School pupil Lily Webster who was 15 years old when she died in 2012

Lily Webster has been described by as her mum Melanie as a beautiful girl who "loved her friends" and was full of life - Lily should have turned 25 last week - Credit: Webster Family

Mrs Webster said the events on Saturday did bring back difficult memories for her family: "I wasn't actually watching it but my son was, he is two years older than Lily would have been. 

"It is absolutely wonderful that it was successful for Eriksen, but it makes you quite angry that it wasn't successful for your loved one."

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Mrs Webster, who is a nurse for the CCG, praised the staff at Stowmarket Leisure Centre, ambulance crews, and a doctor from the air ambulance who tried to resuscitate Stowmarket High School pupil Lily.

She said: " Everyone tried everything they possibly could" to resuscitate Lily after her heart stopped. 

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Returning to the care Eriksen received she added: "It is great there is no hesitation now, just because somebody is young and fit the full course of first aid is run through. 

"In the past if a younger person collapsed people wouldn't necessarily think to do all the things they might think to do for an older person. 

"So that message has definitely got through everywhere.

"One of the biggest things is access to first aid training 'do people know what to do?'

"If you are playing football with your mates and one of them collapses 'what do you do?' you possibly can't wait for the ambulance." 

Mrs Webster described  Lily, who enjoyed trampolining, as being a healthy girl who "loved her friends" and was "full of life". 

Speaking about the day her daughter died she said: "It was the January 16, 2012,  after lunch Lily was at the leisure centre doing PE she was on the trampolines and she did a somersault which she was well known for. 

"Suddenly she put her hand to her head and said she felt rubbish and collapsed."

"But despite all the best efforts she wasn't able to be resuscitated. 

"There is not really a conclusive reason for Lily's death, because there is no physical problem found in the post mortem.

"All they can assume is the electrical pulses in the heart didn't work properly so that is why it goes down as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome."

Lily Webster died in 2012 the Webster family have raised thousands of pounds in her memory

Lily's family have set up the Lily Webster Memorial Fund - which has raised thousands of pounds enabling CRY to carry out heart screening on young people in Stowmarket - Credit: Webster Family

Last week the Webster family marked what should of been Lily's 25th birthday and her mum hopes that speaking about what happened to her daughter will make others more aware of sudden cardiac deaths. 

"We know that 12 to 15 young healthy people die every week in the UK from an undiagnosed heart condition.

"Everywhere across the country there will be some local paper running a similar story."  

The fundraising that Mrs Webster does for the Lily Webster Foundation allows charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) to screen people in Suffolk aged 14 -35 for most heart abnormalities. 

The painless screening involves young people having a non-invasive Electrocardiogram (ECG) which looks at electrical conduction pathways around the heart. 

An Echocardiogram ultrasound scan can also be completed if there has been a young sudden death in the family. 

More about the Lily Webster Memorial Fund and CRY 

You can donate to the Lily Webster Memorial Fund, and find out about future heart screening events in Stowmarket on their Facebook page, 

If you are aged 14 -35, or are the parent of someone in that age category, you can find other cardiac screening sessions across Suffolk, Essex and the rest of the UK here on the 'testmyheart' website. 

Information about Cardiac Risk in the Young can be found on their website and on their Facebook page. 

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