Shrewsbury mum speaks of shock the moment her son was told he had a potentially fatal heart condition

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, being told that your apparently fit and healthy teenager has a heart condition that could potentially kill him and that he may have to give up the sport he loves.

That was the news that hit Kerry Preece from Shrewsbury like “being slapped in the face” when her 18-year-old old son Aron (a talented swimmer who was already competing at national level) was diagnosed with a condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (or WPW) having attended a free heart screening organised by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

WPW is a problem with the electrical “connections” in the heart. It causes a very rapid heart rate which in some cases can lead to a dangerous and possibly fatal arrhythmia. However, sufferers will often not be aware of any obvious symptoms.

Following Aron’s successful treatment (and return to swimming!) Mrs Preece wants other young people to understand the importance of booking in for a simple screening test with CRY – and is urging other parents to click through to during Heart Month 2019.

Kerry says: “Like most parents who drag their children along to a heart test on a Saturday morning, with both protesting that ‘there’s nothing wrong’, I never imagined the Doctor would call me in to explain he’d found something abnormal on Aron’s ECG and that, until he’d been referred for treatment, he’d have to give up his passion in life – swimming. I admit, I burst into tears and felt completely in shock. But CRY couldn’t have been more supportive, directing us in our treatment journey. We even stayed in touch with the Doctor who identified Aron’s problem on that day back in June 2017.”

Aron was treated 11 days after his diagnosis by the Cardiologist, Dr Adrian Morley-Davies, at University Hospitals of North Midlands, who Kerry describes as “phenomenal”.

Kerry had taken Aron and his younger sister Anya (aged 14 at the time) to a CRY screening day at Wrekin College funded by the Matthew Dewhirst Memorial Fund.

Matthew (whose parents, Chris and Sue, live in St Martins, Oswestry) tragically died in July 2012 from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. He was aged just 17. Matthew was an incredibly sporty and popular student at Ellesmere College with a passion for rugby and his sudden death, following a training session, sent shockwaves throughout the local community.

Since Matthew’s death, Sue and Chris (with huge support from family and friends) have campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of young sudden cardiac death and CRY’s work, raising over £150,000 to date which has led to the screening of around 2,300 young people already. Sue has also become a Regional Representative for the charity.

Kerry adds: “Everyone involved with Aron’s swimming club at Wrekin College was incredibly supportive – as was our entire swimming ‘community’ – following his diagnosis and subsequent treatment using a procedure known as ablation.

“Sue Dewhirst came to meet me and other parents at one of our galas and she gave a very inspiring and emotional speech. I continued to organise fundraising events at Shropshire County Swimming galas, to support further CRY screenings in memory of Matthew. Aron and I were honoured to meet up with Sue again last summer so Aron could personally present a cheque for £1,500.”

Chief Executive of CRY Dr Steven Cox says: “Aron’s story is becoming more and more common as we test increasing numbers of young people – with apparently no symptoms, no obvious family history or warning signs. It’s fantastic news that Aron was treated successfully and is now back to swimming at a competitive level and enjoying his first year at university, safe in the knowledge that his heart condition has been treated.

“CRY wants every young person to have the opportunity to have their heart checked and last year we tested almost 30,000 young people. 1 in 300 people we test will have a potentially life-threatening condition identified and research we published last year showed that of those athletes identified with conditions 75% of them returned to competitive sport after being treated.

“We would like to thank Kerry for speaking out publicly about their experience and helping to promote the message that a diagnosis of a heart condition during adolescence does not mean the end of your dreams or pursuing your passions. With treatment or even lifestyle changes, you can continue to lead a normal, active life and like Aron, become an advocate of screening and the importance of the ECG test.”

The next screening funded by the Matthew Dewhirst Memorial Fund for up to 200 young people will be taking place on 4th & 5th May, at Wrekin College, Shropshire.

Supporting Shropshire Live...
Shropshire Live
Shropshire Live has been providing Shropshire with independent news and entertainment since 2009. Send us your news to or call 01743 818 095. For advertising information call Fiona on 01743 816 817.
- Advertising -

Featured Articles

aico new build

Aico Open Day to welcome local community and employees

Aico, the Market Leader in domestic Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms, will be relocating in October 2019 to a brand-new purpose-built three storey building in Oswestry.
Summer in Shropshire

Things to do this Summer in Shropshire

There is so much going on across Shropshire this Summer, here are some events and things to do to get you out and about across our county.
Students collect their GCSE results at Sir John Talbot’s School in Whitchurch

GCSE Results 2019: Shropshire roundup

Students are today collecting their GCSE results with an estimated 5.2 million GCSE entries this summer – up 50,000 on the previous year.

West Midlands Ambulance Service rated ‘Outstanding’ by CQC

The Care Quality Commission has rated West Midlands Ambulance Service as ‘Outstanding’ following its latest inspection.

Severn Hospice ‘Passes GO’ following Shrewsbury MONOPOLY public vote

Shrewsbury MONOPOLY players will soon be able to roll their dice and land on Severn Hospice.
Wicketkeeper Matt Swift hit an unbeaten 92 for Shropshire in the first innings

Shropshire’s cricketers beaten heavily by Cheshire in the Unicorns Championship

Three challenging days at Nantwich ended with Shropshire’s cricketers losing heavily to Cheshire in the Unicorns Championship.
Clive Knight received his LTA Meritorious Service Award from Cathie Sabin, Shropshire’s former LTA president

Prestigious LTA award for Shropshire’s Clive Knight

Shropshire’s Clive Knight has received a prestigious award from the Lawn Tennis Association.

Match Report: Accrington Stanley 2 – 3 Shrewsbury Town

Daniel Udoh is the man of the moment as the debutant helps Shrewsbury Town to complete a remarkable turnaround.
- Advertising -
Simon Davies from Flex IT with Carolyn Freeman, business manager of Wace Morgan and Diana Packwood, managing partner Wace Morgan

Legal firm’s £100,000 investment in new IT systems

A Shropshire law firm has announced a major £100,000 investment in order to ‘future proof’ the firm.
Accountants Dave Leddington, Rob Chadderton and Alex Stone

Shropshire accountants raise a toast to Thirsty Thursdays

An accountancy firm based in Telford has launched a new networking evening with a twist – Thirsty Thursdays.
Madelaine Reed, Liz Lowe and Nicola Matthews at Abbey Lawn, Shrewsbury

Consultancy finds new home at Shrewsbury business park

A specialist engineering consultancy serving clients mainly overseas looked closer to home for its new base in Shrewsbury.
Zoe Watson of Alderford Lake and Megan Potter from the Hope House fundraising team get ready for the race

Alderford Lake to go quackers for local children’s hospice

Hope House Children’s Hospices are holding a Duck Race at Alderford Lake on Sunday 8 September at 1pm raising funds for the local charity.
Lois Harding and Kathryn Holmes ask creatives to be inspired by their local area for The Wrekin Housing Group’s next calendar

Artists compete in 2020 calendar competition

The countdown is on for creative types to enter their work in a competition, which could see them featured in a popular calendar.
Horatio’s Garden Oswestry was created by acclaimed garden designer and Gardeners’ Question Time panellist, Bunny Guinness. Photo: Mandy Jones

Horatio’s Garden Oswestry seeks volunteers

UK charity Horatio’s Garden are looking for volunteers to join their new, friendly team at their recently opened Oswestry garden.
- Advertising -

Free Mini exhibition drives into Shrewsbury prison

Mini is 60 and to mark the occasion The West Midlands Mini Owners Group are celebrating behind the high walls of Shrewsbury Prison this Bank Holiday weekend.
Georgie Dixon, marketing and event coordinator at sponsors Rybrook Shrewsbury with Hannah Gamston, event manager at Severn Hospice

Severn Hospice revs up support for outdoor cinema

A Shropshire car dealership is revving up support for a local charity by backing its upcoming outdoor cinema screening events.
David Domoney from ITV’s Love Your Garden is appearing at this year's show

Final preparations take place ahead of Shrewsbury Flower Show

Organisers of this year’s Shrewsbury Flower Show are putting the final touches to The Quarry ahead of what promises to be another bumper event.
Charlotte Nutting & Alex Nicoll at The Meadow Inn

Popular Ironbridge pub looks forward to new future

A popular Ironbridge pub has been given a promising new lease of life having been acquired by the same successful team behind the nearby White Hart.

Ludlow Farmshop celebrates Great Taste Award success

Ludlow Farmshop is celebrating after being awarded a number of Great Taste awards.
Publican Lance Pettet outside The Lamb Inn

£285,000 investment breathes new life into The Lamb Inn, Edgmond

The Lamb Inn, situated in the village of Edgmond near Newport has reopened following a £285,000 investment.
- Advertisment -

Featured Articles


shower rain
19.2 ° C
20.6 °
17.8 °
77 %
75 %
21 °
20 °
23 °
25 °
24 °
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Latest Articles

- Advertisment -