A WOKING family are to hold a fundraising concert on Friday to remember Lewis Marsh, who died from an undetected heart disease two weeks away from his 14th birthday.

Lewis’s mother, Gill Weston, has spent the 25 years since her son’s death working alongside the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) to raise awareness of the disease through the Lewis Marsh Fund.

“Lewis collapsed and died during a tennis coaching session,” Gill said. “To all appearances he was a fit and healthy young man.

“This is when I found CRY, which researches and screens for these undetected conditions. Since Lewis’ death I have continued to raise funds in his name to provide free heart screening for 14 to 35 year olds.”

The concert, on this Friday 12 May, is at Christ Church in Jubilee Square, with the proceeds going towards a free heart screening weekend at St John the Baptist School in Old Woking over the weekend of 10 and 11 June.

‘‘I’m in my late seventies now and handing over more to my daughters Chevaun and Sorelle, and son-in-law Simon, who are all professional musical theatre performers,’’ Gill said.

“They invite some of their colleagues from various West End shows to join them and create an evening of wonderful entertainment.”

For the screening sessions to go ahead, the money must first be raised from the concert and any associated fundraising activities.

CRY screenings are generally funded by memorial funds set up after the death of a young person because of young sudden cardiac death, an umbrella term for a range of conditions. 

“Each screening weekend costs £12,000 over the two days,” Gill said. “St George’s Hospital in Tooting send a team down, including a doctor and the technicians required to operate all the equipment, just as they would in hospital.

“We’re all immensely proud that Lewis’ fund has raised £300,000 and been able to screen more than 3,000 people as a result.

“Twelve apparently fit and healthy people aged 35 and under die each week of undetected heart disease. It is a walking time bomb, people simply don’t recognise what may be going on.”

It is a sobering statistic that in 80 per cent of cases of young sudden cardiac death there are no prior symptoms of a heart defect, according to CRY.

In addition to its cardiac screening programme, CRY offers bereavement support and support to those diagnosed with heart conditions.

“We strive to bring some peace of mind to our local families,” Gill said. “This is a cause very close to me.

“We hope that people will feel able to support our Legacy of Lewis concert and help us protect our young folk.”

Tickets for The Legacy of Lewis concert on 12 May, including a charity auction and raffle, are available from [email protected], priced £20. Doors open at 6pm, concert starts 7.30pm.

For more information on the work of Cardiac Risk in the Young, visit www.c-r-y.org.uk and use the cardiac screening tab for a full list of venues and dates.