Victim of a deadly legacy

Grief: Mum Jean France and daughter Georgina Campbell
Grief: Mum Jean France and daughter Georgina Campbell
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A SON’S life was tragically cut short by an inherited heart condition.

Richard Finney, 37, collapsed and died suddenly after being diagnosed 18 months ago with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

His distraught mother Jean France, 56, said his death was doubly hard to take as she also has the condition.

She said: “I feel as I have given it him and I am now just hoping my grandchildren haven’t got it.

“I told him before he died ‘I am an awful mum.’ He said ‘Don’t be silly. You did not know, Mum.

“But it makes me feel awful. He he was just getting on his feet as well.”

Mr Finney, of Langdale Street, Elland, was 6ft 2in tall, slim, and led a full life.

He had worked as a production manager at a Bradford printers and was setting up as a freelance ICT consultant when disaster struck.

The former pupil of Brooksbank School, Elland, collapsed at home and despite the attempts of his girlfriend and paramedics he could not be resuscitated.

Mrs France, of Mirfield, has lived with the condition since she was 32.

Her son showed the common symptom of being short of breath ahead of diagnosis.

“He had to slow down a lot,” she said.

“It hits like a bolt out of the blue and it’s like a death sentence hanging over you every day and leaves you wondering if you will wake up or not, so you have to live each day to the full.”

Mr Finney chose never to be tested for the condition earlier.

“He did not want to be told he had it and said he would rather live not knowing,” said Mrs France.

“He was a laugh and popular with his mates.

“I called him Sonshine as he always made me feel happy.”

He was dad to Melissa, 20, Bradley, 17, and Rebecca, 14, and loved fishing and Formula 1.

His sister, Georgina, 38, of Pellon, Halifax, is clear of the disease.

“We were very close and I feel lost without him. It hasn’t hit me yet,” she said.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the heart muscle to thicken and that makes it harder for blood to leave the heart, forcing it to work harder to pump blood.

It is also known as “sudden death syndrome” and the condition affects people of all ages.

A funeral service and committal takes place at Park Wood Crematorium, Elland, tomorrow at 9 am.