Lifesaving heart screening campaign in memory of Buxton man

Morag and James Sheridan at Buxton Medical Practice on Sunday, where the screening took place.

Morag and James Sheridan at Buxton Medical Practice on Sunday, where the screening took place.

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A young mum has saved a person from potentially dying from an undiagnosed heart condition after organising a screening session in memory of her late husband.

Paul Sheridan died suddenly while cycling home to Buxton from Alderley Edge, via the Cat and Fiddle road, in April 2014.

Gareth Jones of Cardiac Risk in the Young with Zoe Fitzsimmons - Paul's sister-in-law.

Gareth Jones of Cardiac Risk in the Young with Zoe Fitzsimmons - Paul's sister-in-law.

Doctors confirmed his death was the result of an undiagnosed heart problem.

Since then, wife Morag and her friends and family have raised £15,000 to support Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), and some of the money paid for a special screening session of 114 people at Buxton Medical Practice on Sunday - when one person was diagnosed with a heart condition.

She said: “Because there are no symptoms the screening has ensured another family won’t be ripped apart.”

Paul and Morag had been together for seven years, meeting after he gatecrashed one of her parties after attending with a mutual friend. The day after he completed the London Marathon - and in total went on to complete six more.

Sharon Clark does an ECG test on James Grogan

Sharon Clark does an ECG test on James Grogan

They were married in September 2010 and moved from London to Buxton to raise a family, with son James being born in September 2013.

Morag said: “Paul was very healthy and loved cycling and running, but he was a family man and said his marathon running days were over as he wanted to focus on being a dad.”

Paul died from arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy - a rare genetic disease of the heart where the stretched muscle became scar tissue instead of healing.

At the time, the hospital rang Morag and told her there had been an accident, but would not explain what had happened.

“When I got there none of the staff would look me in the eye,” she said.

Paul was a physiotherapist and worked with the England hockey team, British Athletics and had two degrees and a masters.

Morag said: “We were ready for it to be our time. We bought a house to start a family.

“I don’t want James to grow up and be known as the boy who lost his daddy, and for me to be the woman who lost her husband. For a while having James was the only reason I got out of bed in the morning.”

Out of the £15,000 raised, £5,000 went to help with the running of the charity and the other money has been spent on the screenings, which cost the organisation £35 per person.

At the weekend men and women between the ages of 14 and 35 were tested to monitor heart movements.

Morag said: “What Paul died of was entirely preventable so he could still be with us if we knew. They say a parent would lay down their life for their child, so maybe that was what he did so James can be screened when he is older.”

To find another screening, visit testmyheart.org.