The family and final school of tragic student Maddy Orford (18) are keeping her name and memory alive by raising awareness of life-limiting heart conditions amongst young people.
Maddy, who had completed her first year of A-level studies at Bourne Academy, she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that reduces its ability to pump blood around the body.
Despite a number of specialist operations to prevent heart failure, Maddy tragically died on August 7, just two months before her 19th birthday.
Now students and staff at Bourne Academy are helping Maddy’s family to raise awareness of cardiomyopathy, which affects around one in 500 people in the UK, after raising £1,500 for a charity supporting patients and families with the condition.
Laurence Reilly, executive head teacher of Bourne and Spalding Academies, said: “We asked the students during our assembly to consider the possibility of donating their organs through the NHS.
“The students also organised a non-uniform day in October to raise money for the charity because we wanted to do something helpful from a tragic situation.”
We’re trying to do whatever we can, in whatever small way we can, to help Maddy’s family in their time of bereavementLaurence Reilly, executive head teacher of Bourne Academy
“There is no treatment, as yet, for cardiomyopathy but you can have treatment to prolong your life, as long as people are able to donate their blood and organs to the NHS.
“So we’re trying to do whatever we can, in whatever small way we can, to help Maddy’s family in their time of bereavement.”
Bourne girl Maddy, who played football for Bourne Town Juniors and later Pinchbeck United Girls, was described by Mr Reilly as a “very quiet, private, reserved and highly motivated student”.
She was on course for success in A-level psychology and sociology, as well as applied sciences at BTEC Distinction level.
A statement from Maddy’s family said: “Maddy was booked to go on an expedition to Borneo, through Bourne Academy, in July which was a big step for her as she had only just moved to the school’s sixth form from Bourne Grammar School.
“Although Maddy was a naturally quiet and reserved person, when she committed herself to something, she did so whole-heartedly and with a quiet passion.
“During 2016, she raised money for the expedition through car boot sales and a leaflet distribution.
“She also took part in National Citizen Service (NCS) with other Bourne Academy students during the summer of 2016 which included voluntary garden maintenance work at Digby Court in the town.
“Maddy was really looking forward to Borneo and the challenges it would entail, but sadly she had to cancel it when she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy in November 2016, a diagnosis that came out of the blue.
“Even though she effectively had only one year at the school, we are so grateful for the support Maddy received from Bourne Academy and the money raised by students and staff was fantastic.
“We really want to promote the importance of blood donations as there’s a real shortage at the moment.
“But one of the other things Cardiomyopathy UK is campaigning for is more screening for young adults, particularly if they are active in sport.”
Before moving to Bourne Academy, Maddy was a student at Bourne Grammar School where a non-uniform day is planned this Friday to raise mone for Cardiomyopathy UK.
Head teacher Jonathan Maddox said: “It was with the greatest sadness that we learned of Maddy’s death in August and students have wanted to find ways of expressing their grief by doing what they can to help others suffering from cardiomyopathy.
“So we have held events to raise funds for cardiomyopathy research and this week’s whole school non-uniform day will also be dedicated to that charity, and to Maddy’s memory.”
For more information about cardiomyopathy, visit http://www.cardiomyopathy.org/
To become a blood and/or organ donor, register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or www.blood.co.uk