Family of tragic teen, Adam Donnelly, battle to save young lives ten years after his death

News Shopper: The Donelly family with friends who turned out to support a charity walk in aid of CRY. The Donelly family with friends who turned out to support a charity walk in aid of CRY.

A Sidcup family have marked the 10th anniversary of the death of teenager, Adam Donnelly, who died aged just 17 from an undiagnosed heart condition - a tragedy which may have saved his younger sister's life.

Adam Donnelly, collapsed and died in a swimming pool during a family holiday to Cyprus on June 30 2004 due to a condition later diagnosed as Brugada syndrome.

In 2012 Adam's mum, Julie Donnelly, aged 54, and 22-year-old sister Sian, both of Gloucester Avenue were also diagnosed with Brugada syndrome and Sian was fitted with a mini defibrillator which will shock her heart should it stop.

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Mrs Donnelly said: "Since Adam died we have all be screened and discovered both Sian and I have Brugada syndrome.

"We think that if Adam had been screened he would still be alive.

"80 per cent of people who die have no symptoms so we have set up a bereavement fund that has been ring fenced to pay for screening as it's not available on the NHS."

Since Adam's death, his family, including dad, Jed Donnelly, have become committed supporters of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), working to raise funds and awareness for the charity and highlighting the importance cardiac screening in young people.

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On July 6 they were joined by 28 friends and family members for an annual fundraising walk organised by CRY.

Mrs Donnelly, who is now CRY's county representative for Kent and a trained bereavement supporter for the charity added: "It was lovely to have so many people there - we've been doing it for ten years and sometimes it's just been me and Jed.

"I don't know if it was because it has been ten years but the support was fantastic."

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