Fam­ily walks to help save lives

Char­ity trek in mem­ory of daugh­ter who died aged 18

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE dev­as­tated fam­ily of a Hilling­don teenager who died sud­denly and with­out warn­ing ear­lier this year has been help­ing to raise aware­ness of the con­di­tion that claimed her life.

Balin­der Mann was a fit and healthy 18-year-old who was study­ing Bio­med­i­cal Sciences at Bath Univer­sity with her life ahead of her.

But on the night of Jan­uary 28 she be­came one of the dozen peo­ple in Bri­tain each week un­der 35 who are struck down by young, sud­den, car­diac death (YSCD).

Her eldest sis­ter Jas Mann said: “She was per­fectly fine, and she’d never had any health prob­lems. It was in the mid­dle of the night and her body just shut down and she strug­gled to breathe, it all hap­pened in the space of an hour, that’s how sud­den it is.”

On Sun­day, ex­actly five months af­ter Balin­der’s death, her fam­ily joined around 2,000 ‘walk­ers’ to com­plete ‘The Heart of Lon­don Bridges Walk’ in her mem­ory, or­gan­ised by the char­ity Car­diac Risk in the Young (CRY).

The walk passes by 12 of Lon­don’s most fa­mous land­marks, rep­re­sent­ing the dozen vic­tims each week.

Balin­der’s fa­ther, Jarinder Mann, 45 45, said: “There were no te tell-tale signs. If we’d ha have known about CRY an and that 12 peo­ple die a we week, or if some­body brought it to our at­ten­tion, I would have got all three of my daugh­ters screened.

“The gov­ern­ment should make it com­pul­sory with the amount of kids we’re los­ing ev­ery week.”

De­scrib­ing the pain of los­ing his daugh­ter, he said: “You wake up ev­ery morn­ing and all the hap­pi­ness has been taken out of you, you’re car­ry­ing on but there’s no hap­pi­ness in your life any­more.”

Mr Mann, also fa­ther to Tan­isha, 16, and Jas, 23, wants to raise as much money as pos­si­ble to help other peo­ple.

He added: “We want to get the in­for­ma­tion out to peo­ple that there is an op­tion there to get your child screened. The only thing we wish now is that no other par­ent has to go through what we went through and are still go­ing through.”

Balin­der’s mother, Narinder, 46, de­scribed her daugh­ter as “one of the most kind peo­ple” adding she was “beau­ti­ful in­side and out”.

So far the fam­ily has raised more than £2,000 for CRY and is ac­cept­ing do­na­tions at uk.vir­gin­money­giv­ing. com/team/balin­der­mann.

Ali­son Cox MBE, chief ex­ec­u­tive and founder of the char­ity, said: “Even af­ter 20 years, I never fail to be as­ton­ished by the enor­mous courage of our be­reaved fam­i­lies. We are im­mensely grate­ful to the Mann fam­ily and will be sup­port­ing them ev­ery step of the way.”

AWARE­NESS:

n CRY Lon­don Bridge­walk 2015, with fam­ily mem­bers of Ba Balin­der Mann, left, who died sud­denly aged 18

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