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'Perfect bride' Claire Reed died just five months after wedding due to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome
THEY were supposed to be celebrating the rest of their lives together, but five months after their fairytale wedding a heartbroken husband’s dreams are shattered after a rare heart condition killed his wife.
Last night devastated Andy Reed fought back the tears as he paid tribute to his “perfect” wife Claire.
And he made a desperate plea for health chiefs and politicians to raise awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) which he says claimed Claire’s life.
Claire, an accountant who ran her own beauty therapy business, collapsed and died while celebrating at a friend’s hen do. She was just 22 years old.
Her family will say their final goodbyes at her funeral on Monday.
Speaking from her parents’ house in Salwey Road, Botley, where the walls are adorned with pictures from their wedding day in October, Mr Reed, 26, likened his grief to a “tsunami” of emotion.
He said: “It’s just so shocking because there were no warning signs.
“She was so bubbly and full of life and so healthy and it makes it so much harder because we were only married for five months.
“It’s something that the Government and NHS should be making people aware of and offering screening for.”
An estimated 12 people a week aged under 35 die from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.
The syndrome, is also referred to as Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome and Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba is among the survivors.
Claire, who regularly trained at a gym and attended kickboxing sessions, was one of 16 women celebrating her friend Stacey Phillips hen do at a mansion in Taunton.
She is reported to have “felt sick” soon after getting out a swimming pool and jacuzzi and collapsed when friends took her outside to get some fresh air.
She died in hospital, despite attempts by best friend Robyn Yaldren and paramedics to resuscitate her.
Dad Graham, 59, a retired IT worker and mum Anne, also 59, a housewife, and brother Pete, 26, have arranged for her blood relatives to be screened for the condition.
Now they want to meet the founder of the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity to plan an awareness campaign to ensure other families are tested for the condition.
Mr Hunter said: “We mustn’t let her death be in vain.
“This needs to be analysed and there needs to be more awareness.”
Claire, a former head girl at St Mary’s College, Southampton, met Andy while working at accountants RSM Tenon in Chandler’s Ford nearly five years ago and he proposed to her while on a European cruise in Cannes.
The couple, of Sandmartin Close, Eastleigh, married at Norton Park Hotel in Sutton Scotney before honeymooning in Dubai and Mauritius.
Reflecting on their wedding day Mr Reed said: “It was just perfect. It had been raining every day up until the wedding day and then the sun came out.
She looked stunning when she came down the aisle. I cried and she cried – it was the best day of our lives.”
Claire’s funeral takes place from 2.30pm at Wessex Vale Crematorium in Bubb Lane, West End.
- People are asked to dress in her favourite colour pink and to make donations in lieu of flowers to CRY or to the British Heart Foundation.