Hundreds raised after sudden death of much-loved 25-year-old

Fundraising in memory of a woman whose life was claimed by a rare heart condition has made more than £2,000 for charity.

Katie
Katie

Katie Fleet, from Market Drayton, was just 25 when she died on December 1 last year.

Her mother Janice said she had a "passion for life", and was "capable of lighting up the room with her colourful personality".

In the wake of the tragedy Katie's family have sought to raise awareness of the rare illness that took her life – Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome, known as SADS – and to raise money for a charity working to prevent other families facing the same heartbreak.

Mrs Fleet said they wanted more people to be aware of the charity, and to support its work.

She said: "Many have never heard of the charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), until they suffer the sudden heart-breaking loss of a loved one.

"We found ourselves in that position on December 1 last year when we lost our beloved Katie to Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS).

"She was only 25 – a social butterfly, with a passion for life and capable of lighting up the room with her colourful personality.

"She was always chasing the next adventure, but was equally content to be at home with her family and dogs."

Katie's family with town crier Geoff Russell

Mrs Fleet explained how CRY are working to help prevent tragedy – and help the bereaved.

She said: "Twelve fit and healthy young people die a week due to undiagnosed heart conditions. Eighty per cent of these show no symptoms through a young person’s life meaning they go totally unnoticed.

"This was what happened in Katie’s case. There were no warning signs or symptoms that may have pointed towards a cardiac condition.

"The sheer shock of losing someone so dear, and so young, out of the blue in this way is impossible to comprehend and Cardiac Risk in the Young exist to help families through this process.

"The charity aims to support families through bereavement as well as funding research into SADS.

"Crucially, they also organise heart screenings for the immediate family in the aftermath of their loss. These screenings look for inherited conditions which may be present in relatives.

"CRY understand that the only way to detect cardiac abnormalities in young people is through widespread heart screenings in the hope that this will prevent more sudden deaths.

"Their vital funds are used to put on free screening events, involving ECGs and Echocardiograms, for those aged between 14 and 35."

A fundraising Great Cake Bake at the family home in Rosehill helped raise nearly £1,700 for the charity, while Katie's brother-in-law, Ashley Williams-Fleet, raised another £560 by finishing the #12aWeekChallenge – running 12 miles along the Millennium Way.

Mrs Fleet said they were hugely thankful to all those who had supported the fundraising efforts.

She said: "In support of the charity, we used CRY’s awareness week, from November 20 to 28, to partake in their Great Cake Bake.

"We invited family, friends and neighbours to the family home in Rosehill to join us in reminiscing about Katie over a slice of cake and a cup of tea.

"The event was attended by the town crier, Geoff Russell, and together with donations and a raffle an amazing £1,689 was raised for the charity in Katie’s memory. We could never have pulled off this amazing event without the support of those who attended and so we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came."

She added: "We would also like to thank the Festival Drayton Centre for helping to raise awareness by displaying Katie’s story and collecting donations. She spent many happy years volunteering here and it means a lot that she is remembered so fondly there."

Anyone who wishes to donate in Katie's memory can do so at www.c-r-y.org.uk/katie-fleet/

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