Rednal woman fundraises for heart charity with sky dive in memory of mum

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Kirsty (centre) with Keith Neels (BHF volunteer) and Jo Langford (sales assistant at BHF Northfield).

The daughter of a local woman who died suddenly in her sleep will leap from the sky to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

33 year old Kirsty Austin from Rednal, will take on the challenge in memory of her mother, Dee, on Saturday 5th October.

Dee was a manager at the BHF’s Furniture and Electrical Store in Bristol Road South, Northfield, where she had worked for five years.

Described as ‘always laughing’, Dee was a much-loved colleague at the store, which helps raise money for the BHF’s life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases.

Credit: Kirsty Austin
Kirsty and her mother, Dee.

But when Dee, a mother-of-four, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in her sleep, and she was sadly found passed in her bed on 11 December 2018.

Kirsty said: “I had only seen Mum four days before. She absolutely loved Christmas; it was her favourite time of the year and she had decorated her tree ready.

“She was so excited, as all the family were going to come together and celebrate.

“The news came as a complete shock, especially because of the time of year. Mum was fit and healthy and just such a colourful, loving person.

“Everyone loved her, even her customers would bring her flowers and cards to thank her for the help she would give. That’s how much she touched other people’s lives.

“It’s been such a difficult time for us all to cope with and I still can’t believe she has gone.”

The skydive will take place on Dee’s 65th Birthday, a memorable day for all.

Kirsty, who works as a business development director added: “I have always been an adrenaline junkie and mum was the same. We even once spoke about doing a sky dive together, so I feel like this is the best way to remember her.

“It might be scary, but knowing that this will raise money for the BHF’s vital research and that it’s all in memory of my mum, I can do it. Any amount of money that I can raise to help ensure other families don’t go through the same heartbreak as mine will be fantastic.”

To sponsor Kirsty, you can donate to her Just Giving fundraiser

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, often because of a problem with the electrical signals in the heart.

The BHF funds around £100m of new research each year into all heart and circulatory conditions, including heart diseases, stroke and vascular dementia, along with risk factors including diabetes.

Donna Stokes, the BHF’s Fundraising Manager for Birmingham, said: “There are around 3,700 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the West Midlands each year – but only one in nine people survive.

“It is so vital that we continue to raise funds for our research into heart and circulatory conditions, to help beat heartbreak forever.

“We want to wish Kirsty all the best with her sky dive and say a massive thank you for choosing to fundraise for the BHF. Without the generosity of people like Kirsty, we wouldn’t be able to fund the life saving research that we do.”

To sponsor Kirsty, you can donate to her Just Giving fundraiser

To find out more about fundraising with the BHF, contact Donna Stokes on 07714 069132 or email stokesd@bhf.org.uk

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