Doreen Burns, 50, from Norfolk Road, is hoping her family’s tragedy encourages other youngsters to get tested and raise money for CRY - Cardiac Risk in the Young.
With the recently shocking cases of Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba and Italian footballer Piermario Morosini suffering from cardiac arrests, the call to highlight the issue has never been so prominent.
Sadly six years ago Robert Burns suffered from similar heart defects and, like Morosini, the circumstances proved fatal. Robert was just 19-years-old.
Now Doreen with the help of her family is calling for people from Harworth, Bircotes and the nearby communities to help get involved in raising some money for CRY.
“It’s something I will never forget, it was the morning of Tuesday 9th May 2006. I went in to his bedroom around 20 past eight and just found him there,” said Doreen.
“You don’t expect to see that, not for a 19-year-old.”
“He loved his sport and going to the gym. He was very fit and very friendly. He was a lovely person and liked to go out with his mates.”
“My other son, who is 13 months older, had to be tested and thankfully he was all right.”
Robert, who went to Serlby Park, was an active young man who enjoyed running. He regularly went to the gym and often played basketball.
Doreen said she’d not even heard of Robert’s condition and wants to help prevent other families going through the same heartache by spreading the word.
So much so that the family decided to organise a five-a-side football tournament in his honour.
On Sunday 6th May, the Harworth and Bircotes Sports and Social Club will be hosting the sixth annual raffle and football tournament in Robert’s memory.
“The fundraising for CRY started six years ago when Robert died,” said his aunt Julie, 52, from Bawtry Road.
“With everything that has happened in the news of late it has just highlighted the importance of CRY.”
“We need to raise awareness for young individuals to encourage health checks and screenings to reduce the frequency of sudden cardiac deaths throughout the UK.”
CRY has recently launched a national campaign to maintain pressure on the Government and professional sporting bodies to offer cardiac screening to young people who might be at risk.
Over the last five years Robert’s family and their team of fundraisers have managed to raise nearly £6,000.
“It would be great if you can come and watch the football, cheer the teams on and make a donation via the raffle and the events going on at the Bircotes Leisure Centre,” added Julie.
Kick off on Sunday 6th May will be around 12 noon.