On 30th April, Gregory Mertens died; he was 24. On 3rd May Danny Jones died; he was 29. Five years ago Andy Parker died; he was in his early 30s.
You might have heard of the first two; they were professional sportsmen whose deaths made headline news. You won’t have heard of Andy. However, what links all three of these men is that they all died of undetected heart conditions. The first two even went through rigorous and regular health screening (Danny Jones had an ECG as recently as 2014) and yet they were struck down by a condition that is responsible for over 40,000 premature deaths every year in the UK alone.
As a company, we support the British Heart Foundation, and with good cause. My son was diagnosed with a heart condition at three days old, and underwent open heart surgery at six months old. But we feel fortunate, because we know that he will have regular and in-depth heart screening for the rest of his life. Others will not be so lucky.
We might not be able to prevent heart attacks, but there are steps that can be taken that might save lives. One of these steps is the provision of defibrilators in as many locations as possible, and, in particular, in schools. There are many initiatives to provide these across the country, but sometimes these efforts need an extra push to raise funds to buy the defibrilators.
Which brings us to Megan Parker, Andy’s cousin. Despite a crushing fear of heights (not that you would know given the heels she wears) Megan is doing a skydive on 30th May. Her sponsorship page is http://www.gofundme.com/tw99bs.
The Andy Parker Cup is a football tournament run every year to raise money to buy defibrilators, and this is Megan’s way of boosting the pot of cash that they raise. We will be supporting Megan, it is upto the individual as to whether you support someone you don’t know.
But you might feel that you can support a cause that, regardless of who you are and where you live, will touch your life at some point.