Heart research funds get boost in memory of tragic bride-to-be
The family of a young bride-to-be who died of a heart condition she didn't know she had just months before she was due to marry have spoken in a bid to raise awareness.
Lindsey Coulter (27), from Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone, collapsed and died last April in a gym while exercising.
The community nurse was to marry fiance Brian, but died six months before her wedding.
Lindsey's sister Alison Little said she had everything to live for and was excitedly preparing for her nuptials.
"Lindsey was due to get married on October 14 last year," she said
"She had the wedding all planned out, the dresses bought, her flowers picked, her cake picked.
"She was going for hair trials and enjoying getting ready for the big day.
"She was excited about getting married to Brian and was going to the gym three or four times a week in preparation. It was there at the gym that she collapsed on the cross-trainer. She had no health problems, and her death was a massive shock to us all."
The family raised £2,000 for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) NI to go towards research. Alison said the Coulters wanted the money used to help save other families from going through similar anguish.
She added: "If we had known Lindsey had a heart condition, something could have been done to help her. We know BHF funds research into the heart conditions that take away the lives of young people and we want the money raised in her memory to help others.
"As a family, we were overwhelmed with the support we've been shown and the amount received from family, friends, and local community. We are so grateful for all their support."
Every month in Northern Ireland at least one young person dies from an undiagnosed heart condition. BHF NI estimates that 17,500 people are living with a faulty gene that puts them at high risk of a heart attack at a young age or of sudden death.
Spokeswoman Jayne Murray thanked the Coulter family and friends for their generosity.
"Thanks to the public's kind support, BHF-funded researchers have made major discoveries in these frightening heart conditions but we urgently need to fund more research to better understand these heart conditions, make more discoveries, develop new treatments and save more lives," she said.
For more information and advice about inherited heart conditions and to support the BHF, visit www.bhf.org.uk/unexpected