Mother's comfort as legacy of Eleanor, 20, lives on

Annette Keeler says she takes comfort from knowing her “sensitive, bright daughter”, Eleanor has helped others by being an organ donor

Eleanor Keeler

First published in News
Last updated

THE mother of a an exceptional young student who died from a heart attack has spoken of how her daughter's legacy has helped others.

Eleanor Keeler, 20, from Copmanthorpe, died after suffering a heart attack while she was out jogging near her American university.

She was taken to the university hospital, but never regained consciousness and died eight days later with her family by her side.

Eleanor died from a hidden heart condition the type of which claims the lives of 12 young people every week in the UK.

Her mother Annette Keeler, 63, has told of how she and her husband Chris were plunged into despair by the death of their "beautiful, sensitive, bright daughter", who would now be 25.

But she said they take comfort that Eleanor's memory is continuing to help people's lives.

Having signed up as an organ donor, Annette said she was moved to hear her daughter had allowed a liver transplant which meant the recipient could attend his son's wedding.

She said: "The people in America corresponded with us through a mediator. The thrill of knowing someone else is alive and their family is overjoyed takes the sting.

"It makes us feel humble and that was Eleanor choice."

Furthermore, a memorial prize has been set up at the University of Pennsylvania, Eleanor had been studying at as part of her history degree at University College, London.

The bursary was funded by the £15,000 raised by family, including siblings Matthew and Suzanne, and friends and has been sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, to allow an exchange state school student to explore their host country (alternately the UK and America) - making the most of their time abroad through character development and cultural enrichment.

And on the weekend Eleanor would have turned 25, her father ran in the Edinburgh half marathon to raise money for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (C-R-Y) - which supported Eleanor's family to cope with her death and used their own pathologists to establish cause of death.

Annette said: "You either dig yourself out of it or you bury yourself. You have to make sure life carries on positively but you will never forget."

She also urged people to go to routine heart screenings run by C-R-Y and for schools to raise money to host the screenings.

"If people have an opportunity to go to a heart screening I would advise them to go especially if someone in their family has died young and unexpectedly," she said.

- Sudden death syndrome (SDS) is an umbrella term used for the many different causes of cardiac arrest in young people (under 35).

There is a simple way to diagnose most cardiac abnormalities which is is by having an ECG (electrocardiogram) test.

For information about screenings near you, visit http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/

Comments (1)

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9:38am Tue 22 Jul 14

allthingsconsidered says...

CRY Is a great charity which gives free screening for congential(born with and as yet undetected) heart conditions for all young people aged 14-35 and as John Barrowman says ''Has worked hard to protect our young people''..Fantastic charity.As is the Anthony Nolan trust which finds a match for prople with Leukemia.Go on that register too.
CRY Is a great charity which gives free screening for congential(born with and as yet undetected) heart conditions for all young people aged 14-35 and as John Barrowman says ''Has worked hard to protect our young people''..Fantastic charity.As is the Anthony Nolan trust which finds a match for prople with Leukemia.Go on that register too. allthingsconsidered
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