FRIENDS and family of a teenager who lost her life because of an undetected heart condition are raising awareness of the condition that killed her.
Sophia Forrester died aged 19 while living in accommodation at Leeds University.
Sophia, a former North Halifax High School pupil, originally lived in Skircoat Moor Road, Savile Park.
At an inquest in December, Coroner David Hinchliff said she had died because of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.
Her friends and sister Natasha have formed Sophia’s Gang, a charity group to raise vital funds for CRY UK – Cardiac Risk in the Young – by climbing the Three Peaks on June 23.
The climb is part of 10 months of fund-raising to raise £10,000 in memory of Sophia.
“Sophia was a warm, kind-hearted, popular young lady who grew up in Halifax and she had very bright future ahead of her,” said her friends.
“In 2011, Sophia was in her element, working hard and being very sociable. She is known to be the nicest person most of us will ever know,” they said.
Sophia’s sister, Natasha, said: “Losing Sophia in May last year was such a shock for our family and all her friends. I had only ever heard one story on the news about a young footballer who died suddenly during a match from suspected sudden cardiac death.
“You never think that something like that will happen to someone you know, least of all your younger sister.
“Sophia was only 19 when she died and had everything to live for. I miss her every day. Being involved in Sophia’s Gang allows all who miss her to work together to raise awareness and hopefully prevent other families and friends experiencing a similar tragic loss.”
The charity works with specialists to promote cardiac health and develop screening facilities for heart conditions like Sophia’s, which cause the sometimes-preventable deaths of 12 young people a week.
Can you help? Visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sophiasgang.