Paula Lunt with a photo of her son Craig
No mother should have to bury her son.
This is the story about how a mother from Douglas battled her way through grief and depression to make sure no other Isle of Man family has to endure the hell she has been through.
My Craig knew how much he was loved. He had a great girlfriend and his family absolutely adored him.
At 25 Craig had become one of the Isle of Man’s top footballers and everything was going well for him. He was about to go on holiday and had just been given a hefty bonus from work.
Most importantly though, Craig was one of the most loved people I know.
One morning, two days before my birthday in 2005, we found our beloved son dead in bed. He had suffered heart failure during the early hours of the morning.
As I looked at his face, he seemed calm as if he had died peacefully. It’s a thought which helps me now but at the time it didn’t stop me falling into a deep depression.
If I can stop another mother going through this hell, I’ll be happy.
If I can help one family avoid losing their precious child then I’ll feel like I achieved something. I would do anything to stop this happening again. It’s not natural to bury your own child.
Unbeknown to him, Craig was suffering from an undiagnosed heart defect which can cause Hypertrophic or Dilated Cardiomyopathy. These conditions can lead to Sudden Death Syndrome.
A family reminder of Craig
Dealing with the aftermath of Craig’s death was difficult enough, there were funeral arrangements to sort out, there were bank accounts to close and if that wasn’t enough, subsequent tests showed that it was me who handed down the defective gene to my precious son. I too have this condition although I knew nothing about it until after Craig’s death.
My rational mind told me that it wasn’t my fault but I felt guilty. Really guilty. If we had known about Craig’s condition we could have got him the right treatment.
However much I may want to, I can’t bring back my son but it’s some consolation knowing I can help other local families before it’s too late for them.
Craig was in the prime of his life
My family and I set up a charity called “Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation”.
We have now raised enough money to bring a clinic from the UK to the Isle of Man. The qualified doctors and technical staff will offer free testing to detect any possible symptoms of Hypertonic and Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
The clinic testing, which is worth hundreds of pounds per person, is available on 19th and 20th May at the Hilton Hotel.
I am inviting all Island sportsmen and women between 14 and 35 years of age to come and get tested. The results will be treated in strict confidence and they could save your life.
This time round, we can test up to 500 people but we will be having more clinics in time.
For more information you can call me on 483061 or 401761.
last updated: 04/04/2008 at 12:27
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