Mum near Rugby whose dad died suddenly on family holiday will run this year's London Marathon in his memory

A mum near Rugby whose dad died suddenly while on a family holiday will run this year's London Marathon to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Grace Lyne with her father Mark Grineaux
Grace Lyne with her father Mark Grineaux

Mum-of-two Grace Lyne, from Broadwell, was left devastated when her father, Mark Grineaux, died from a sudden cardiac arrest in August 2020.

At the time, Grace was on a family holiday in the Isle of Wight with Mark, mum Nicola and her young son Theo.

“We went swimming in the hotel pool, but dad got out and said he didn’t feel very well,” said Grace, aged 34.

Mark Grineaux

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“He went to his room for a lie down, which wasn’t out of the ordinary for him. We were planning to go for dinner, but dad told us to carry on without him.”

But when they returned, Nicola found Mark unresponsive in bed. Grace, who was seven months pregnant at the time, rushed to the hotel’s reception, where staff called 999 and a first aider attempted CPR.

An ambulance arrived and took Mark to hospital, but when Grace and her family arrived at the hospital, she was told that her dad had passed away. Mark, who lived in Southam and owned his own accountancy firm, was aged 66.

Grace, who works as an owner/director for Christopher Peters Kitchen and Interiors, added: “I remember getting that news and feeling like I couldn’t breathe. My heart was broken.

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“Theo was in the room with me when the first aider was trying to save dad. He has taken something away from that night as we both saw dad take his last breath. He was only two years old at the time, but something that traumatic will never leave him.”

A post-mortem found that Mark had cardiomegaly, an enlarged heart, which caused his sudden death. Mark had also been living with atrial fibrillation, which causes the heart to beat abnormally. Although Grace and her family knew that Mark lived with high blood pressure, they were unaware of any heart conditions.

Grace has fond memories of her dad – and said it was hard knowing that Mark couldn’t see the birth of her daughter, Sophia, just two months after his death.

“Dad was very loving, but in his own way,” recalled Grace, who is married to husband Will.

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“He was my biggest supporter and we had the strongest bond. He had a great life and loved travelling with my mum, who he had been married to for 35 years. Dad adored Theo and Theo loved him too, and he still talks about his grandpa all the time. We know that Dad would have been a great grandpa to Sophia, too.

“Dad was well known in Southam. His funeral was really touching – as the hearse made its way to the cemetery, people from the town lined the streets and clapped for dad, which was just incredible.”

In memory of her dad, Grace will join her brother George (36) to run the TCS London Marathon 2022 on Sunday October 2 and raise funds for the BHF’s research.

To donate to Grace’s fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/grace-lyne