Family’s faith keeps Matthew’s memory alive

A MUM and dad from Cubbington who lost a seemingly fit and healthy son to a heart attack take comfort every day in knowing that “he is with the Lord”.

And with that thought Carolyn and Stan Harris are taking part in a fundraising effort to raise money for CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Their son Matt was aged just 23 when he died while taking part in the Kenilworth Half Marathon last September.

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It was the first half marathon for the former North Leamington School pupil who was raising money for a charity helping Argentinian street children.

Matt, who played football and boxed to keep fit, died of an undiagnosed heart condition which kills around 12 apparently healthy people aged under 35 every week in the UK.

The couple were contacted by CRY, which arranged medical tests for daughters Katie and Emma, which to the family’s relief revealed that they were not at any genetic risk or to the grandchildren.

On Sunday the family and relations are taking part in the Heart of London Bridges Walk, which is now in its 5th year and has raised more than £200,000 to pay for research and raise awareness of heart problems affecting the young.

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Mrs Harris, of Ladycroft, Cubbington, said: “Matt was very caring, great fun, had a wide circle of friends and was just starting out in life.

“Matt became a Christian when he was about eight when he asked to be baptised. We know that he is with the Lord and it’s a great comfort knowing that.”

The former teaching assistant at Telford Junior School, Leamington, said: “He is in our minds all the time and our daughters have found it difficult as well.

“Matt was perfectly fit and healthy but it was something that just caused his heart to switch off.”

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The couple attend St Paul’s church, Leicester Street, and Mrs Harris added: “The Rev Jonathan Jee was a great support and we had a wonderful memorial service where about 300 attended.”

Their son was a media officer with Baxi, Coventry Road, Warwick, and £3,000 has been raised for the street children charity in his memory.