The family of a Larne man who died of a heart attack have thanked the community for helping raise £5,775 for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.
Christopher Ritchie, a Chief Engineer with Ansaldo Italy, died aged just 41 after suffering a sudden heart attack at home last August.
Christopher had no pre-existing medical issues and his death came as a ‘horrific shock’ to the family.
On the night he died, he believed he had a mild case of heartburn, and the family realised too late that it was more serious.
After his death, his wife Deborah and daughter Jessica were touched by the support they received.
Businesses such as Christopher’s employer, Ansaldo Italy, and Deborah’s own employer Forever Living and local gym The Fit Factory, made donations.
NICHS will use the money to educate the public on heart health and to provide support to families and individuals living with illnesses.
“The amount of kindness we’ve received has been unbelievable and to know how much Christopher meant to so many people is so special,” said Deborah.
“We want to raise awareness and encourage everyone to be aware of their own heart health.
“It’s so important that everyone knows the signs that something is wrong and we want to encourage anyone who thinks they recognise the signs, not to hold off but to seek medical attention as soon as possible.”
Christopher’s sister Elaine McKay, who raised £2,246.19 in her brother’s memory after taking part in her first RunHer 10k challenge, added: “I wanted to do something to remember Christopher by and felt that RunHer was a great way to challenge myself and also something to help me look after my own fitness levels.
“I know Christopher would have been so proud of me”.
For more information and advice visit www.nichs.org.uk