Tribute to 23-year-old cot death victim

A GRIEVING Ipswich grandmother has today paid tribute to her grandson who died suddenly aged just 23.Although Steeve Pierart lived in Belgium, he visited his devoted grandparents Irma and Irwan bed.

By Jessica Nicholls

A GRIEVING Ipswich grandmother has today paid tribute to her grandson who died suddenly aged just 23.

Although Steeve Pierart lived in Belgium, he visited his devoted grandparents Irma and Irwan bed.

The pair had been together for ten years and Mrs Jacyna believed they may have had plans to marry.


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She said: "They had a party on Valentine's Day celebrating his mum's birthday. He and his girlfriend left at around 1am and the next morning Julie phoned to say that he was dead in her bed."

Mrs Jacyna had heard of the condition but had not how many young people it affects, until Steeve's death.

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She said Steeve was an extremely popular person in the Belgian village of Namur, where they lived and more than 300 people went to his funeral.

Mrs Jacyna said: "He was such a character when he was little, he was boisterous and loveable. We used to take him to the club on a Friday night and everyone loved him and made a fuss of him."

Recalling a time when he was a small boy, Mrs Jacyna said: "He was always putting his nose into things.

"One day we were walking along Beverley Road and there was a group of workmen looking over a (car) bonnet. He could not even see over the top but he put his hands on his hips and said 'Do you need a hand?'"

People who suffer from SADS often have no symptoms, and are often fit and healthy. In Italy pre-participation heart screening of all young competitive athletes has been in place since 1971 and every athlete must have an annual fitness certificate.

But Mrs Jacyna said that Steeve was not particularly into sport. He did however love cars and motorbikes, and was good at fixing things.

A mechanic by trade, he worked alongside his father Christian but just before his death was also doing factory work.

There have been several others in Suffolk who have died suddenly like Steeve. In 1998 Woodbridge teenager Laura Fox died aged 13 after going upstairs to get changed.

Her parents Robi and Kate had no idea she had a heart defect but following her death raised £12,000 for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and used some of the money to buy an ECG heart testing machine for Framfield House doctor's surgery in Woodbridge.

SUDDEN ADULT DEATH SYNDROME

IT IS thought that up to eight young people a week in the UK die suddenly because of cardiac abnormalities - sudden death syndrome or sudden cardiac death.

In the UK unexplained sudden death where there is no cause identified is frequently classified as natural causes. But experts believe that the majority of these deaths are due to Sudden Death Syndrome.

Until the law is changed and coroners have to refer the hearts on to specialists the true statistics of the amount of deaths will not be found.

The syndrome is thought to be caused by an enlarged heart muscle.

Those sufferers with symptoms are considered to be the lucky ones as once cardiac conditions are recognised, precautions can be taken.

WEBLINK - www.c-r-y.org.uk

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