Portsmouth widow urges young people to book heart scans after tragic death of husband

A WIDOW is hoping to save lives by urging young people to book free heart screenings after her husband died following a sudden cardiac arrest.

By Fiona Callingham
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:55 am
Richard and Hayley Brember in 2018. Picture: Hayley Brember
Richard and Hayley Brember in 2018. Picture: Hayley Brember

Richard Brember had his life cruelly cut short died at 32 after suffering a fatal heart attack while cycling.

But his wife Hayley - along with friends and family - have now raised more enough cash for four days of free screenings in a bid to make sure no family goes through the same trauma.

Three years since Richard died his family have raised than £36,650 to cover the costs of the health checks.

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Richard Brember playing rugby. Picture: Julian Frost, Farnham Rugby Club

And in the wake of the shock cardiac arrest of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen earlier at Euro 2020, Hayley is hoping students at the University of Portsmouth will take advantage of the next screening event in November.

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Keen rugby player and BAE Systems employee Richard was cycling along the Hog’s Back road near Guildford when he collapsed on the side of the road.

Drivers pulled over to help and later paramedics attempted to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful.

Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG worker Hayley was out at a hen do in Gunwharf Quays at the time and was told the news over the phone.

She said: ‘I didn’t believe them at first, and then was very upset and very angry.

‘We didn’t know why this had happened. I was heartbroken, we had been married less than a year.’

It was later discovered Richard had premature coronary artery disease.

Drayton resident Hayley, 34, added: ‘With the various heart conditions some are passed on through the family but Richard’s wasn’t hereditary. He was just very unlucky.

‘This is why we are trying to raise awareness. Had Richard had a scan as an active rugby player there’s every chance they would have picked up on it.

‘I don’t want any family to go through what we did.’

Three screening sessions, paid for by the memorial fund, were held at Bracknell Rugby Club in December 2019, and the Havant and South Downs College and Farnham Rugby Club in February 2020 – with around 300 people attending.

A fourth screening day at the university had been scheduled last year but due to Covid was rearranged for 2021. Spaces are available for 100 people.

‘Everyone involved has been so supportive,’ Hayley added.

‘From friends and family to Richard’s old rugby clubs and the university.

To check upcoming heart screening dates or to set up an alert for screenings nearby visit testmyheart.org.uk.

And visit c-r-y.org.uk/richard-brember to donate to charity Cardiac Risk in the Young in Richard’s memory.

Richard and Hayley had been living in Aldershot at the time of his death.

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