By Ciara McCaughley
A beautiful and fun-loving Ballinagare woman was remembered by her friends and family at a charity event organised in her memory.
In December 2016 Katie Ryan passed away suddenly in her sleep, leaving her family heartbroken. She was just 23-years-old and left behind her devastated parents Eamon and Jackie, seven siblings and a wider family circle and many friends.
Katie’s mother got in contact with CRY Ireland where all the Ryan family were tested for a condition known as Sudden Cardiac Death or Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).
Unfortunately, results came back showing that some of the Ryan family have the gene which can result in sudden cardiac death or sudden adult death syndrome, Sadly, It took them to lose Katie to find out this.
The family members affected have since had a loop recorder implanted in their chest, which monitors heart activity. The machine works as an electrocardiogram (ECG), continuously picking up electrical signals from your heart. This can help find abnormal heart rhythms that can cause a number of problems.
“It’s reassuring for us as a family to know that our children are being monitored by the excellent team in Tallaght Hospital. We feel very fortunate that CRY exists because if has been a source of counselling and support for the family and my children affected by this have regular checkups which is so important for peace of mind and any irregularities with their hearts will be picked up and acted upon,” explained Jackie.
CRY(Cardiac Risk in the Young) was founded in March 2002 by parents who had experienced the effects of sudden and unexplained death within their families.
It is a self-supporting registered charity. The charity is dependent on help to raise awareness of cardiac risk in the young, support the National Screening Centre where families and individuals at risk are evaluated and provide counselling and support to families affected. Last weekend dozens of people participated in the VHI virtual Women’s Mini Marathon with all funds raised going to CRY Ireland in a fitting tribute to the late Katie Ryan.
“Katie was so full of life, we miss her every day. She was a really special girl who loved life, loved her family and we adored her. Her birthday is New Year’s Day so since her passing, we’d mark it every year by letting off balloons and hosting an event in her memory. With Covid we weren’t able to do it this year, so we decided to host this fundraiser in her name and have people take part in the Women’s Mini Marathon with proceeds raised going to CRY Ireland. We’ve been overwhelmed with the donations, people have been very generous and we’re grateful. We’ll keep it open until the end of September, so there’s still time for people to donate if they wish to,” outlined Jackie.
More than €8,000 has been raised and those wishing to donate to the fundraiser can do so by logging on to https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11407298_remembering-katie.html