Support heart charity for James’ sake
THE girlfriend of a charity runner who collapsed metres from a finish line has urged people to donate to a cardiac organisation in his memory.
James Phillips, 27, from Denham, collapsed while running the Reigate half-marathon in Surrey on September 21.
He suffered a cardiac arrest 200 metres from the finish line at Priory Park at about 11.15am.
Attempts were made to resuscitate Mr Phillips but he died at East Surrey Hospital.
His girlfriend, Fiona Barnes, 27, of Copperkins Grove, Amersham, is urging people to make a donation to Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
The couple met in their teens, when she was a pupil at Dr Challoner’s High School and Mr Phillips at the grammar school, though they did not start dating until later.
Miss Barnes, who works for the BBC in human resources, said she had a long and supportive phone call last week with the chief
James Phillips suffered a cardiac arrest 200 metres from the Reigate half-marathon finish line executive of CRY, which spurred her on to encourage people to donate.
She said: “The Phillips family and I are supporting Cardiac Risk in the Young because there needs to be more awareness of this dreadful killer of young, seemingly fit and healthy people.
“On average, in the UK, 12 young adults aged 35 or under die each week and at least 80 per cent have no symptoms.
“CRY have been a wonderful source of support to me since James’ sudden death and any donations will, I know, be used to continue their support and awareness programmes.”
Mr Phillips had been running with a group of 40 friends, including Miss Barnes, to raise money for the Patrick Evans Foundation, a charity that helps people suffering from any illness or disease, supports people dealing with bereavement and loss, and creates healthy sporting opportunities for young people.
Money has been donated to the charity following his death via their justgiving page.
Friends have also secured places for the London Marathon in 2015 in support of CRY.
Mr Phillips worked at Make Architects, in London, and helped design the London 2012 Olympic athletes’ village.
His family said he was the ‘life and soul of the party’ and that he will be remembered for his warmth, kindness and fun-loving attitude to life.
To donate visit www.c-r-y.org.uk.