The family of a young man who died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition in September 2009, hosted an inspiring and entertaining event, ‘TomFest 2019’ in his memory and to raise money for leading heart charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
First-year UCL student Tom Reid (a former student at Garforth Community College, who’d been Voted ‘Personality of the Year’ at his year 13 Leavers’ Prom) collapsed and died suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition, whilst attending a Freshers’ event. He was aged just 19 and had only been at university for a little over 24 hours at the time of his tragic death.
In his memory, the Reid family, from Garforth in Leeds (who have been loyal supporters and campaigners for CRY since Tom died) hosted an afternoon and evening of live music, crafts and fun.
The afternoon activities took place at the Lord Gascoigne Pub in Garforth. Stalls included Festival Glitter Painting, Beauty and the Beard Manicures, Steve’s Succulents and a CRY awareness stall. There were other entertainments present such as Jason’s Bouncy Castle and Slide and the Gin Shack. There was a fantastic turnout from families, friends and people from the local community.
The Welfare Hall in Garforth hosted the evening entertainment, including a DJ set from Tom’s brother DJ Alex Reid and a performance by band The Flow (including Matty, Tom’s cousin, on guitar). A Silent Auction took place in the evening where attendees bid on twenty prizes that had all been donated especially for the event.
Overall, TomFest 2019 raised £3,625 for CRY and the family is keen to publicly thank all the local business, organisations, friends and family who were so generous with their time, money and donations, which made the event such a success.
Every week in the UK around 12 young people (under the age of 35) die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80% of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms, which is why CRY believes screening is so important, now testing over 30,000 young people every year.
An ECG (electrocardiogram) test is a simple way to identify the vast majority of abnormalities that can cause sudden deaths in young people. The test is quick, non-invasive and painless and, if necessary, a further echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart) can be taken on the same day to provide further clarity or reassurance.
Chief Executive of CRY, Dr Steven Cox, says: “All of CRY’s unique services – whether screening, research or bereavement support – are funded through the inspiring and tireless fundraising efforts of families who have suffered the tragic and sudden loss of a child, sibling or partner.
“On behalf of CRY, I would to thank Halina, Anthony and Alex for their ongoing support and commitment to CRY in Tom’s memory over the past decade.”
For more information, images and a video of the event, please visit www.c-r-y.org.uk/tomfest-2019
Find more information about CRY @ www.c-r-y.org.uk