Young Northampton woman's heart condition diagnosis reveals how her father father died
A 21-year-old Northampton woman believes she has discovered the reasons for her father's sudden death 15 years ago - after a screening revealed she had inherited a rare heart condition.
Student Elizabeth Bowers-Keable, was just six when her seemingly fit and healthy father suddenly died in 2003.
The 21-year-old grew up never knowing the cause of her father's premature death after an inquest concluded his life ended as a result of ‘natural causes’.
But 15 years into the family's seach for answers, Elizabeth is now certain her father suffered from a heridatary heart condition known as Brugada Syndrome - because she has it.
Despite initally being given the all clear for serious heart conditions, she recently undertook an Ajmaline test through the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
The test came back positive - and with it - the knowlege that her father must have also been a sufferer.
But despite now knowing she has inhereted the potentially fatal condition, the Winchester University student says "we finally know how dad passed away".
She said: "I’d been seeking answers for so many years and contacting CRY was the best decision my family ever made.
"Yes, I’ve been diagnosed and yes, I’ll need to be monitored every couple of months but what the CRY team has given me - and my family – is peace of mind, much longed-for answers and a sense of closure."
Brugada syndrome is a cardiac condition which causes a disruption to the heart’s normal rhythm and can increase the risk of heart attack.
Rather than allow this news to stop Elizabeth in her tracks, she has turned the diagnosis into an opportunity to fundraise for CRY and campaign about the importance of general population heart screening through a blog - the Brugada Syndrome Diaries.
She added: “I want to use my blog to educate others on heart conditions and the importance of getting your heart checked no matter what your family history.
"But if you have had sudden adult deaths in your family like I have, my plea to you is to read my journey and hopefully it may persuade you to also attend a heart screening."
Chief executive of CRY, Dr Steven Cox said: “In 1995 CRY was established to support families after a tragedy, helping them to understand what could have caused the death and how to avoid the same thing happening again to other family members.
"Had this not happened to Elizabeth and her brother she would probably still be left in the dark and would be putting herself at unnecessary risk."