A charity is urging people to support a new fund to improve genetic testing for families at risk of the undiagnosed heart condition.
The British Heart Foundation estimates 9,300 people in the East Midlands could be living with the faulty gene that can cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which led to the sudden death of Sir David Frost’s son, Miles, last year aged just 31.
The majority of these people are undiagnosed and will have no symptoms. While some will live their lives unaffected, for others it can lead to a fatal cardiac arrest.
The Frost family believes Miles inherited the faulty gene responsible for the condition from Sir David Frost. Although Sir David didn’t die of HCM, his post mortem found the disease was present. Unfortunately, Miles and his brothers were not tested for HCM at the time.
The family, in partnership with the BHF, has now launched a charitable fund in memory of Miles Frost.
The Miles Frost Fund aims to raise £1.5 million to setup a national cascade testing service for family members of those who have died of, or have been diagnosed with the illness. The condition means the muscle wall of the heart becomes thickened, making it harder for the heart to pump blood around the body. Each child of someone with HCM has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting it.
Miles’ brother Wilfred said: “When Dad died we were all in utter shock. He went far too soon. But when Miles died last July, it was even worse. To lose someone aged just 31, who was very much in the prime of his life, has been incredibly hard to take.
“However, we are determined to look forward, and plan to use his passing to create a positive legacy by improving diagnosis for HCM. If the Miles Frost Fund helps to prevent just one similar death occurring, then Miles will not have died in vain.”
Visit www.milesfrostfund.com for more.