Tragic deaths of vibrant young people

I was saddened to read in the County Times of the sudden death of Martyn Taylor at the age of only 26 years. Our thoughts are with his family and all that knew Martyn.

SADS UK is often contacted by people whose lives have been shattered when a seemingly healthy young person dies so unexpectedly.

SADS UK offers information and support to families that have been affected by a sudden death. The charity has six medical advisers who are specialists with regard to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

The deaths of people who were in the limelight such as Marc Vivien Foe, Cameroonian International footballer, and Richard Butcher, player at Macclesfield Town FC, as well as the unexpected death of Stephen Gately from Boyzone have been widely reported.

However, sudden death occurs more often than is generally recognised and people from all walks of life are affected, the list of victims is long and endless; as is the passion of parents and loved ones to raise further awareness to end tragic deaths of such vibrant young people.

SADS UK is working to improve understanding of conditions and symptoms that may indicate a person is at risk.

The charity distributes ‘The Warning Signs’ to training schools, medical establishments, schools and other youth organisations.

The charity especially highlights the fact that young people can suffer from cardiac conditions.

SADS UK has urged Government to introduce cardiac assessment at the GP surgery to question family and personal medical history to identify people at risk. The charity is also urging the wide placement of defibrillators in the community and in all schools. This vital piece of equipment helped save the life of Fabrice Muamba.

Awareness and understanding are fundamental in preventing loss of further life, both within the same family and other families as yet unaffected.

The Warning Signs are:-

Family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death of an apparently healthy person.

Fainting (syncope) or seizure during physical activity, especially if it happens repeatedly.

Fainting (syncope) or seizure resulting from emotional excitement, emotional distress, startle or on arousal from sleep.

Consistent or unusual chest pain and/or abnormal shortness of breath during exercise.

For further information please contact, Anne Jolly, SADS UK 01277 811215, email


AED project manager, SADS UK, Horndon Park, West Horndon, Essex