Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Getting Your Heart Checked Could Save Your Life; Campaigning Dad's Message

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Getting Your Heart Checked Could Save Your Life; Campaigning Dad's Message

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS KNIGHT Reporter christopher.knight@trinitymirror.com @C_M_Knight

DAMIEN Jewell had been married for more than year and was enjoying life as an estate agent.

But on April 18, 2001, the 28-year-old went to sleep and never woke up.

Damien's sudden passing from heart condition acute myocarditis devastated his family and wife Sarah.

Now, more than a decade on from losing his only son, dad David has opened up for the first time on the heartbreak of losing his son and his efforts to ensure no other family suffers a similar tragedy.

Ashington-born Damien maintained a close relationship with his dad even after his parents divorce meant he spent most of his life living with mum Anne in Colchester.

David, from Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, last heard from his son the night before his death, and was working down in Suffolk when he was told the news every parent dreads.

He said: "Damien had been married for just over a year, and was a manager at the estate agent. He was doing very well, and was a bright, cheerful young lad.

"I stopped at Reading service station on my way to Swindon when I'd seen I'd had a call from the vicar in Colchester. I sensed something was wrong so I phoned back and he broke the news.

"I'm not sure what I felt at the time, I was completely numb.

"Effectively it was a massive heart attack. He went to bed one night and didn't wake up.

"There was nothing we could have done."

Damien's heartbroken family had to wait weeks to find out the cause of his death from the postmortem report.

The 28-year-old, who had previously shown no sign of ill health, passed away from acute mycarditis, an inflammation of a heart muscle for which there is no preventative medical treatment available.

David, 69, said: "The three weeks waiting for the post-mortem results were pretty horrendous. …

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