Hartlepool woman 22 died in her sleep from unknown condition - now her mum is on a mission to raise awareness
The mum of a young Hartlepool woman has spoken of her family’s heartache and mission to raise awareness after her daughter died in her sleep at the age of just 22.
Meghan Adams tragically passed away on July 12 from a previously undiagnosed heart condition called Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome, also known as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).
Her mum Michelle Bailey says her mission now is to raise awareness of the condition to try to help save others.
Michelle said: “It was a big shock. Meghan went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
“She had a fast heart rate every now and again but it was just said she had a sensitive heart.
“When they did a post-mortem there was nothing to find.
“It’s awful. I’ve got two other sons. They have to get genetic testing now.
“Meghan was always smiling. It’s what her friends said they remember, her big smile.”
Meghan worked for a recruitment agency in Middlesbrough and had been a keen dancer from a young age until 18 when she needed a back operation to correct a curvature of the spine.
Her heart condition was only discovered following further detailed examinations after her death.
That put Michelle in touch with the national charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) which works to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supports affected families.
Despite being so recently bereaved, Michelle, Meghan’s boyfriend Taz, brothers Scott, 28, Gareth, 26, and cousins Kirsty and Olivia, joined 200 others in an annual CRY sponsored walk in Durham when they raised over £600 for the charity.
Dr Steven Cox, chief executive of CRY, said: “It takes great courage to see beyond your own grief to fundraise and raise awareness – to help stop others from ever having to go through the same devastating experience – and we thank Michelle and everyone else who took part in the CRY Durham Walk at the weekend and for everything they do to support CRY.”
Michelle added: “I needed to feel I was doing something for Meghan. I thought I need to raise awareness because I had heart of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome but I didn’t know about it properly.
“I think a lot of people are like that. A lot of CRY’s money goes towards free screening for people aged 14-35. It can be picked up by an ECG (electrocardiogram).
“It’s my mission now. People need to be aware of this condition.”
At least 12 people aged 35 and under die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition every week in the UK.
In 80% of cases, there will have been no warning signs or symptoms.
The conditions responsible for SADS cause a cardiac arrest by bringing on an irregular heartbeat, even though the person has no disease affecting the structure of the heart.
CRY’s pioneering screening programme tests over 30,000 young people every year.
For more information about the condition visit CRY’s website at www.c-r-y.org.uk