Family and friends of a young woman who died months after suffering a major heart attack aged just 22 have organised a special charity night in her memory - on what would have been her 23rd birthday.
Leigh Holden, from Grange Road in Beighton, Sheffield, died on July 29 last year after complications following a heart attack in March 2013. The cause of her death is still being investigated, with an inquest scheduled to take place later this year.
Leigh’s loved ones have organised a charity night at The Cumberland pub in Beighton on Friday, May 23, the day that would have been her 23rd birthday.
It is hoped the event will raise about £1,000 to support the work of the coronary intensive care unit at the Northern General Hospital which helped to care for her.
The night has been organised by Leigh’s parents Keith and Sue, sister Hannah and friends Samantha Brown and Emma Davison.
It will feature a disco, a raffle and a sponsored men’s waxing session.
Mr Holden said the event is designed both to remember Leigh and also to raise awareness of heart disease in young people. Leigh had not been aware she had heart problems until the heart attack.
“It is becoming more and more prevalent and you read more and more about it,” he said.
“We decided to try to raise money for the ICU. Those people gave us five months more life for Leigh than she would have had without them. They did a lot for us and we thought it only right to give something back.”
He said Leigh had been a popular young woman who had lived a normal life before her illness. She had been a qualified hair stylist but at the time of her death was working as a telesales executive for insurance firm Motorway Direct.
Mr Holden said following Leigh’s death, he believes more electrocardiogram or ECG tests are needed on young people to help identify potential heart disease problems.
“It can come at the click of a finger. If there are no apparent symptoms, it can remain undetected forever,” he said.
“Kids should be given an ECG so these things can be prevented rather than cured.”
Mr Holden said £400 has already been raised at Ingoldmells Caravan Park in Skegness, where Mr and Mrs Holden go on holiday.