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Andy Reed to meet with health secretary to tackle SADS
A GRIEVING husband is set for Government talks after his wife died suddenly from a rare heart condition.
Now Andy Reed has secured a high level meeting with the health secretary to lobby for greater awareness and screening of the devastating condition which the life of his wife Claire.
The widower from Eastleigh and his family will meet with top minister Jeremy Hunt at Department of Health offices in London on Tuesday, June 11 to raise awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).
Mr Reed’s wife Claire died from the condition after collapsing and dying while celebrating at a friend’s hen do in Taunton, Somerset, in March – aged just 22 – and five months after getting married.
It is the first time that someone from the Coalition Government has met a family to discuss the condition since taking power and Mr Reed will be joined by specialists from the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), charity which is lobbying for SADS screening on the NHS.
Mr Reed, 26, of Sandmartin Close, who will attend with Claire’s parents Graham and Anne Hunter and her brother Peter, also 26, said: “We never dreamed we would speak to someone so high up.
“You don’t often get the chance to speak to the health secretary but we have a good opportunity to get our point across and we hope he will listen.
“The Govern-ment and NHS need to do more to recognise SADS to make the screenings more accessible and available and eventually make them compulsory.
“I ask myself everyday why Claire, as she was someone who was fit and healthy.”
The family has already raised £12,000 for CRY since the young accountant died – including £7,000 towards the cost of SADS screening for 200 young people in the south.
Mr Hunter, of Salwey Road, initially contacted the department of health and who received a personal reply from Mr Hunt said: “We were bowled over that he can meet us and if we can make something positive of it, it will be the legacy of our Claire.”
CRY founder Alison Cox and the charity’s chief cardiologist Professor Sanjay Sharma will also attend.
CRY deputy CEO Dr Steven Cox said: “It’s fantastic that the Government wants to listen to the family’s concerns.
“The previous Government showed a lot of interest in SADS and we hope this continues.”
l The family is hosting a black tie fundraising ball in aid of CRY on August 31 at the Ageas Bowl in Botley Road.
See justgiving.com/remember/57836/Claire%20Louise-Reed for more details of how to attend.
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