New charity is set up in tribute to brother who died suddenly

Dad Stephen Wardle, daugher Gemma and mum Denise Picture: Habibur Rahman (161265-68)
Dad Stephen Wardle, daugher Gemma and mum Denise Picture: Habibur Rahman (161265-68)

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A LOVING sister wants to keep her brother’s legacy alive by setting up a charity in his name.

Gemma Wardle has launched ​the Alex Wardle Foundation after her brother died suddenly in March.

The 23-year-old is suspected to have died from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (Sads) after he collapsed in their Lee-on-the-Solent home.

Gemma wants to raise awareness of the condition and hopes the new charity will prevent other people dying from the same condition.

The 19-year-old University of Portsmouth student said: ‘Alex was a fit guy who went to the gym and played rugby.

‘He was home alone in March when he went to answer the door and collapsed.

‘He was rushed to Southampton General Hospital but unfortunately he passed away. A post-mortem report showed his organs were fine and at the bottom it mentioned sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.

‘The thing with Sads is you don’t have to have a known heart disease for it to happen.’

The foundation launched with a charity night at the Jolly Farmer pub in Warsash.

Its first target is to raise £3,500 which will help pay for 100 people to be screened for heart conditions.

Gemma added: ‘We were contacted by Cardiac Risk in the Young after Alex died but we made the decision to start our own charity.

‘We liked the idea of seeing where the money went and what it would be spent on.

‘I think Alex would be proud of us setting up the foundation.

‘He would have told us off if we hadn’t done anything.

‘He was very interested in research for medical cases.’

Alex went to Meoncross School, in Stubbington, and then to St John’s College, in Portsmouth.

He completed a degree in bio-medical sciences at the University of the West of England, in Bristol, before taking a year off to work in a hospital.

He was completing a second degree in therapeutic radiology at the University of Portsmouth when he died.

Gemma said: ‘Alex was an absolute idiot of an older brother.

‘We would wind each other up all the time.

‘But he would also help me with job applications and my CV.

‘He was really popular but not in that “Jack the lad” sort of way, he just had a lot of friends he was close to.

‘We never knew how many friends he had until he died and lots of people were saying how he helped them.’

A Facebook page has been set up for the charity and a website will also soon be launched.

For the Facebook page visit facebook.com/thealexwardlefoundation