Family and friends raise awareness and funds after Olivia’s sudden death

Olivia Mae Woodward (19) who died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) in her halls of residence at Sheffield Hallam University on Sunday, September 18 EMN-160928-094454001
Olivia Mae Woodward (19) who died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) in her halls of residence at Sheffield Hallam University on Sunday, September 18 EMN-160928-094454001
0
Have your say

Olivia’s family want to raise awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) as well as raising funds for the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity.

Her parents, Stuart and Lisa, had dropped her off in Sheffield on Saturday, September 17 and helped her sort out her room. Olivia later texted them, thanking them for their help and saying she ‘loved them all’.

Lisa said: “I received a text from her at about 11pm so say she’d met a couple of new flatmates, that she was having an amazing time and they were going to go out to a nightclub.

“One of her friends got a bit too drunk that night. Olivia took him back and looked after him. She got him some food and put him to bed before going to her room. I sent her a message the next day but didn’t get an answer.”

Olivia had died suddenly and unexpectedly from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) after her heart had just stopped, said Lisa.

She added: “Olivia was perfectly fit and active and she walked everywhere. Sudden Adult Death Syndrome isn’t something people are aware of which is why we want to raise awareness of it. We just want people to know about it. I think all teenagers and young people should get checked for it.”

Olivia’s younger sister, Annabelle, and Olivia’s boyfriend, Charlie, have set up an online fundraising page in her memory in aid of the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity. At the time of going to press it had already raised over £2,600.

The charity highlights that every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. Eighty per cent of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms.

Since its formation in 1995, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) has been working to reduce the frequency of Young Sudden Cardiac Death (YSCD).

It supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions and offers bereavement support to families affected by YSCD. The charity also promotes and develops heart screening programmes, funds medical research, publishes and distributes medical information for the public and funds fast-track referral, screening and cardiac pathology services at leading UK hospitals.

The charity carries out cardiac screening for people aged 14-35. Its simple, painless electrocardiogram (ECG) tests (taking only five to 10 minutes) can detect the majority of cardiac abnormalities most likely to affect young people. For most people a single screening will suffice when there have been no symptoms and there’s no family history of cardiac conditions.

Symptoms to look out for include chest pain during exertion, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness and fainting.

For more information you can visit www.c-r-y.org.uk and www.testmyheart.org.uk

To make a donation visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Annabelle-Woodward