TUESDAY TALK: How Lucy Jessop is at the heart of the matter
There were no warning signs whatsoever that Lucy Jessop would be one of 12 people aged 14 to 35 who die in the UK every week from undiagnosed cardiac conditions.
Lucy, of Northborough, a village within two miles from Deeping St James, was just 18 when a jog on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 25, 2015, led to a life-threatening heart problem which ended in tragedy after five days in hospital.
Now, however, the searing devastation still felt by Lucy’s family and friends, including her mother Tracey Jessop-Thompson and Sophie Stone, of Frognall, has been channelled into preserving the science student’s memory with the help of a charity. Specialists from CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), the charity driven by the alarming cardiac death rates among 14 to 35-year-olds, were guests of The Deepings School where Lucy studied to conduct heart screening on its target age group.
Tracey said: “Lucy wanted to be a pharmacist because she really liked science and so her A-Level subjects were biology, chemistry and maths.
“She always did her homework first so that she knew what free time she would have because Lucy also had a party side to her.
“People knew her as the ‘Selfie Queen’ because she just liked having people around and she always had a smile on her face.
“When Lucy died, we had so many condolence cards through the door from people who she had an effect on as she worked at The Pack Horse in Northborough.
“That’s why we held Lucy’s funeral at Crowland Abbey, rather than St Andrew’s Church in Northborough, because of the amount of people who wanted to come.
“Since then, The Deepings School has been fantastic throughout the whole process and it was nice to see students who knew Lucy at the heart screening day.”
Sophie said: “Lucy and I grew up together and you could count on one hand the number of times when she was sad because she was always approachable and happy-go-lucky.
After Lucy died, I needed some way of turning it from a negative into a positive and I came across CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young)
“After she died, I needed some way of turning it from a negative into a positive and I came across CRY while doing lots of research on how Lucy died.
“A week after her death, I set up an online fundraising page which brought in £1,000 within an hour of it going live.
“The Lucy Adena Jessop Memorial Fund (visit http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/lucy-adena-jessop/) is a big achievement and it’s lovely that more than two years on from Lucy’s death, she’s never forgotten.”
Richard Lord, head teacher at The Deepings School, said: “We were delighted to host the CRY screening weekend in memory of former sixth form student Lucy Jessop.
“It allowed us to raise the profile of cardiac testing among our students as a tribute to Lucy who tragically died due to an undiagnosed heart condition.
“We were thrilled that over the two days of September 16 and 17, 200 tests were undertaken and I would like to pay tribute to Lucy’s family and friends for their amazing fundraising efforts which enabled this event to take place.
“It is really important for us as a school to be at the heart of the local community and after hosting this event, I would like to thank CRY, Lucy’s family and friends on behalf of the young people from the Deepings who have benefited.”