A MOTHER will today mark the two-year anniversary of the sudden death of her 22-year-old son from a heart condition that has blighted the entire family.

Six members of Linda Murray’s immediate family have been diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a genetic disease of the heart muscle that is the most common cause of sudden death in children and young athletes and claimed the life of Motherwell and Celtic player Phil O’Donnell.

On July 13 2017, Linda’s son Chris, who worked as a claims officer for Glasgow City Council, collapsed and died at his desk at without warning after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Chris was diagnosed with the killer condition at the age of three.

Both Linda and her own mother and her aunt had also been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, as well as three other family members.

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Since his death, Linda’s nephew and a cousin has been fitted with a Implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which helps regulate abnormal heart rhythms. The 52-year-old has also been offered the life-saving device.

The family say they were told after Chris’ death that it would only have been considered for him if there had been another sudden death in the immediate family.

Linda said: “We discovered that I had the gene for cardiomyopathy and then Chris was tested at the age of three.

“Some of the family have the gene but aren’t on any medication.

“All they said was every year he would get a heart scan and he was given a beta blocker to slow the blow flow to the heart. They gave me a beta blocker at the same time.

“He was fine apart from he wasn’t able to do sports. He would get breathless. We never held him back.

“He went to work as normal that day.

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“He had just had his tea-break, it was the back of three, he had texted his partner Sharon about what they were going to have for tea.

“His colleague turned around and his head was on the desk.

“They thought he was pulling their leg.

“I had lived with it, my mum had lived with it. You just think, that it’s a condition you have to live with and to keep taking your medication and hope for the best.

“My nephew has now been fitted with a defibrillator at 14 and my cousin too. But it comes with problems too, fitting one.

“They said that Chris didn’t come into the criteria for a defibrillator because there hadn’t been any sudden deaths in the immediate family.

“Chris was a great character, he was so full of fun. His partner Sharon was the love of his life, they were childhood sweethearts.

“It’s been very hard. I don’t think you do cope. I think you just accept it. I think if it wasn’t for the amount of friends that Chris had, I don’t think we would have coped. But you have to because life goes on.”

Estimates suggest around 5,242 people in the West of Scotland are affected by Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, although experts say many more people may be unaware they have the condition.

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Six new testing centres have now been launched across the UK including the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Chris’s family will gather today at the family home in Baillieston to celebrate Chris’s life and release balloons into the sky.

Since his death the family have raised more than £20,000 for the British Heart Foundation with sponsored events that will help fund research into conditions such as cardiomyopathy.

The efforts of ‘Team Chris’ have earned them a nomination at the charity’s Heart Hero awards, which are due to take place in London in September.

For more information about cardiomyopathy go to www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/cardiomyopathy