Margherita Cummins has shared an urgent warning to all parents, in the hopes of saving them the heartbreak that she has had to endure over the last year.
Nearly one year ago, Margherita’s 31-year-old daughter, Catherine Keane, tragically passed away in her sleep from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. That is why Margherita is urging parents to have their children screened for this condition, especially if there is a history of cardiovascular health issues in the family.
A young advertising executive living with two friends in Rathmines, Co. Dublin, Catherine was a healthy, happy woman who went to the gym regularly and walked 10K steps each day.
“They were all working from home so no-one really paid attention when she didn’t come down for breakfast,” Margherita explained when speaking to The Irish Mirror.
“They sent her a text at 11.20am and when she didn’t reply, they checked her room and found she had passed. Her friend heard a noise in her room at 3.56am and believes now that is when she died.”
Margherita says that she and her daughter were very close, as it had just been the two of them for a long time, before Margherita met her husband Fergal.
“She was such a character,” her mum fondly remembered. “She worked for an advertising company and was doing really well. She went to the gym and walked 10,000 steps every day.
“She used to ring me while out for a walk and just chat away for the duration. She was such great craic and quick witted and was really good for getting people together.”
Coming to terms with her new reality without Catherine, Margherita said, “Every day I wake up and think, ‘Oh God, here we go again’. It’s a struggle. I try and look at something positive to get me through but there are so many reminders everywhere.”
“I take some comfort in that she went in her sleep and knew no pain and I’m grateful for that. I always worried about the kids driving in the car but never saw this coming. I never thought I’d ever lose a child in my life”
Following the harrowing loss of Margherita’s daughter, she and her family were greatly supported by the Irish charity, CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). “We found CRY by accident but they have been incredible to us so we would like to give something back,” Margherita explained, as she and her family are holding a fundraising event later this summer.
On July 2, the anniversary of Catherine’s passing, there is going to be a 5km walk in Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Co Meath. More information on ‘A Walk for Cat’ can be found on Eventbrite.