Tribute walk will pay for research into killer disease

The West Highland Way walkers
The West Highland Way walkers
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Family and friends united for a fundraising walk in memory of a tragic teenager.

Christopher Hynd was just 19 when he died in his sleep last December.

His devastated family were stunned when tests revealed he had an undetected heart condition, myocardial fibrosis.

The former Larbert High School pupil, who worked in Halfords at the Central Retail Park in Falkirk, had no symptoms of the complaint, which has been called a ‘ticking timebomb’.

Parents Andrew (50) and Isabel (52), along with brother Andrew (24), and their extended family struggled to come to terms with the tragic loss, but received support from the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).

As well as bereavement counselling, it provides high quality cardiac care for young people, it also fast-tracks screening for affected families.

Andrew said that, following his brother’s unexpected death, the charity’s help had been invaluable.

Speaking from the family home in Braeview, Stenhousemuir, he said: “They gave us a lot of information and offered to have us screened to see if anyone else had the condition. As a way of saying thank you for all that help and support, we wanted to raise some funds for the charity.”

His aunt, Rosemary Gardener (55) of Larbert, and her friend, Carmel Gray of Stenhousemuir, had already tackled the West Highland Way on nine previous occasions. They encouraged Andrew and others to attempt the 96 mile walk from Milngavie to Fort William through some of Scotland’s most breathtaking scenery.

Joining them at the start on May 7 were Andrew’s uncle Dougie Gardiner (38) of Airth, his cousin Gordon Ferrier of Grangemouth, and friends Alex McKie of Airth and Charlene Murray of Camelon. Jamie McLay of Stenhousemuir walked with them to raise funds for Help for Heroes.

Andrew, a carer, added: “Everyone managed to complete it in the five days although there were a few blisters and sore legs experienced along the way. The weather wasn’t too bad and it only rained for two days.

“We didn’t set a target of how much we wanted to raise but hope to get as much as possible for this very worthwhile cause. We’d like to thank everyone who donated and sponsored us. Their help is very much appreciated.”

CRY was founded in 1995 to raise awareness of conditions that can lead to sudden deaths in the young. Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die from undiagnosed heart conditions. To find out more visit www.c-r-y.org.uk.