Young mum is remembered

Vicky Johnson
Vicky Johnson
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A South Yorkshire mum has hosted a charity miniature horse show in Sheffield, in memory of the daughter she lost tragically 12 years ago.

Family and friends of horse-lover Vicky Johnson gathered at Parklands Equestrian Centre in Aston, to remember the young mum who died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, aged just 20.

The fundraiser was the first step in a grander plan, by Vicky’s own mum Jackie Harrap, to put a defibrillator in every school, sports centre, shopping centre and bus station in the region.

Jackie, of Barnsley, said: “These defibrillators need putting anywhere the public gathers, they really could help save a life.”

Vicky was on holiday in Whitby with her fiance and their five-month-old daughter Shannon in 2003 when she complained of feeling faint and then collapsed.

Jackie said: “She’d been so excited about that holiday with her little girl and, when I heard she’d fainted, I just thought she’d been overdoing it. The doctor at the hospital told my husband and I to set straight off. Ten minutes into the journey, he called back and asked us to pull over. We were on the motorway with nowhere to stop. I begged him to tell me what was happening and I’ll never forget his words: ‘I’m afraid we’ve lost the battle.’

“I just started to scream and my poor husband had to somehow keep driving and get us there.

“It’s hard when there’s no explanation, the post mortem examination could find nothing wrong, but we do know defibrillators can make all the difference in those first minutes. The horse show paid for the first one and we can think of no better tribute to Vicky than to put as many of them around the region as we can, so maybe they can save another life in her honour.”