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Stories written by friends and extended family

These pages are for you to share with others your experiences of loss due to young sudden cardiac death. If you would like your thoughts to be included in this section of the website, please email your words, photos / images, songs, videos and poems to mystory@c-r-y.org.uk or post them to the CRY office (if requested, photos will be returned via Recorded Delivery).


Craig Salmon
7.50pm on the 14th June 2009, our lives changed forever.


It started as a normal Sunday. Craig, (known as “Kingy”) had rung in the morning to speak with Natalie, his 4 year old niece, which was a normal occurrence as Craig always made sure he spoke or saw her every day.  He arranged that he would come over in the evening to see her as he needed to do some bailing for his dad (my father-in-law) and then had a BBQ in the afternoon.  It was summer and my in-laws have a farm and contracting business, so even though Craig was not at his day job at JCB, he was working for his dad. 


The day passed in a normal haze, nothing out of the ordinary.  Then we received a call at 7.00pm to say that no-one had heard from Craig...  more


Tom Wall
On the 31st August 2011 my friend, Tom Wall, collapsed whilst playing football with mates. He suffered from Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) and although everything possible was done by those with him and paramedics, he sadly passed away.


The day before he had returned from a camping trip in Cornwall with friends and family and did not waste any time before getting straight back on Xbox.


We had a great time playing on FIFA 11 and Call of Duty Black Ops – two of his favourite games. We spoke over the Xbox about many things ranging from games in progress to his much higher levels than myself in many games - a bit of gloating of course.  more


Peter Elliott
On May 23rd 2010 we very suddenly lost our cousin Peter Elliott. Peter was a healthy 21 year old, even though he had cerebral palsy. He never let this hold him back or get in his way and it did not contribute to his death.

Peter's life was short but he packed in a lot of what he wanted to do - especially with his love for music, by forever going to concerts and festivals.

None of our family had ever heard of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome prior to Peter's death.  Peter had absolutely no symptoms, the doctors explained it was "like a light going out" - which to the family is the only comfort to his death: that he felt nothing.  more


David Keirl
I don’t really know where to start as words don’t really do justice to fully describe David to you. David was my brother-in-law - Marc, my husband, was the eldest.


We lost David on 26th September 2008 to SADS and it was the day our lives changed forever. David had been to work on a normal late shift at Bishop Auckland hospital and had come in, had a shower and just said he was feeling a bit funny.  He then just collapsed and we lost David that night despite the  emergency services doing all they could to revive him.


Shock is an understatement really as we all tried to come to terms with what had happened.  There were no signs at all - David was a fit, healthy young man...  more


Dave Williams
My name is Joe Kettle and I would like to share my story with you.

On the evening of 13th December 2005, my best friend Dave Williams aged 16 returned home from a kick boxing session. He told his mother that he had overdone it and his heart rate was just taking a while to get back to normal. Little did anyone know that it would be the last time anyone saw him alive.


Dave was a cheerful and giving person who always did his best to put other people’s happiness before himself; he always stuck up for what he believed in. He was a caring man who didn’t like to show emotion as he thought this would make other people upset.  more


Sarah Didinal
My close friend, Sarah Didinal, died suddenly in her sleep on June 2nd 2009. She was a fit and healthy 37-year-old who lived life to the full. She left her partner Andy and their three small sons.


Sarah and I met in Bondi Beach, Australia, in August 1997, when we were both backpacking around the world. I remember almost the exact date as it was just before Princess Diana was killed in the Paris car crash. The tragedy seemed to unite all the Brits abroad there at the time.


But it wasn’t just that ‘Brit bonding’ which helped start our friendship. We, like a lot of other backpackers at the hostel that night had had a few ‘Stanleys’ – the name of a cheap wine popular among penny-pinching travellers – and got talking about our lives back home.  more


Ricky Stevens & Jason Small
It was the help of CRY during the first two years of the millennium that our family first learned of SADS and the worldwide scale of families suffering the same kind of loss as ourselves. It is truly tremendous. CRY gave us the answers, information and support that we craved. Just like so many others, we lost two fit and healthy young men suddenly and with no explanation for their deaths.


Firstly, my nephew Ricky Stevens who was 15, just one month short of his 16th birthday, collapsed and died in his bedroom on April 15th 2000. It was the Easter Break, and he was looking forward to a camping trip with friends.  more


Marcella Doherty
Marcella Doherty was only 24 years old when she died of Arrhythmogenic  Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy or ARVC.  Despite her untimely death being as a result of this undiagnosed killer, Marcella had symptoms in the week prior to her death.  Sadly, diagnosis proved inadequate and Marcella was unable to convince the medical establishment about the seriousness of her illness in that difficult final week of her short life.  This is her story.


Marcella was born in May 1981, the youngest daughter of Peter and Brigid Doherty of Bellaghy, County Derry, Northern Ireland.  A loving and infectious child, she brought great joy to not only her close family, but to her large family circle - all could call her a real friend.  more


Christopher Dixon

Christopher was 19 years old, my stepson and Karen's only child. He had just found his first love and had everything to live for.


On Friday 8th June 2007 he was having a kick-about in Kings Park, Swanage with a couple of mates. He stopped, looked over to Aimee his girlfriend, smiled and waved, and as they turned away he collapsed with cardiac arrest, falling onto his back. Unfortunately as he did so, he vomited and inhaled the vomit.

His friends called for an ambulance and commenced CPR. Being rural Dorset, it took 10 - 20 minutes for a paramedic to arrive and he, seeing how severe the situation was, called for a helicopter to get Chris to hospital.  more


Daniel Vavasour

On October 6th 2005 I got a phone call from my dad. His tone was serious and I immediately knew something was wrong. He spoke to my mum first, who answered the phone.

Her face had an expression of utter shock. She silently passed me the phone and I nervously listened as my dad told me that my 15 year old cousin had died.

I felt numb and my face drained of colour. When I finished the phone call, the news wouldn’t sink in. Dan and I were born five months apart and he’d lived in the same street as me for almost ten years.   more



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