Family walks to help save lives
Charity trek in memory of daughter who died aged 18
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.”
n CRY London Bridgewalk 2015, with family members of Ba Balinder Mann, left, who died suddenly aged 18