‘ONE day he was there and the next day he was gone.’
Those are the words of mum Jodie Priestley whose husband Colin dropped dead in front of her and their 12-year-old daughter seven months ago.
The 44-year-old from Paulsgrove said: ‘He just collapsed in front of us. I gave him CPR and my daughter phoned the ambulance.
‘I just kept giving him CPR until the paramedics arrived but he was gone. He just droped dead suddenly. One day he was there and the next day he was gone.
‘It has been so hard on all of us including my stepson but especially our daughter as she was there.’
Colin, 50, died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) with an enlarged heart and Jodie is now determined to raise money for defibrillators in Paulsgrove and has started a petition to get them installed in all schools.
She said: ‘I was in shock the first few months but Colin was such a happy person that he wouldn’t have wanted us to be sad and miserable.
‘So I decided to raise money to get defibrillators as I think this would have saved Colin if there was one nearby. We have now got one in our daughter’s school, Castle View Academy, with a plaque in memory of Colin.’
The couple had been together for 14 years and co-owned a barber shop.
Jodie said: ‘We had just come back from a lovely cruise and life was going well. We were looking forward to Christmas and then it happened. Life is so short and it has really put things into perspective for us and our family and our friends who we have had so much support from.’
Jodie has organised a charity night at Paulsgrove Social Club on Saturday from 6pm – which would have been Colin’s birthday.
She said: ‘There will be a disco and an auction with Pompey FC goodies all to raise money for SADS UK. I guess some people might think it strange to have a party but it really is what Colin would have wanted.
‘He would want his family and friends to have fun and celebrate his life.
‘He was always happy and no-one had a bad word to say about him.’
To donate visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=JodiePriestley1&pageUrl=1