The story behind the Jordan Grant Memorial Fund with Cardiac Risk in the Young
PUBLISHED: 11:52 06 November 2012 | UPDATED: 22:18 20 February 2013
His life was cut short by a tragic illness, but Jordan Grant is now the inspiration behind a campaign to save the lives of young people with heart conditions
Our health is something we often take for granted. This is no truer than in the young. No one ever expects the life of a 17-year-old to be taken and certainly not because of a heart condition.
In February, Jordan Grant left his home in Cottam, Preston, with dad, John. He was heading for the first day of his weekend job at Waitrose in Walton-le-Dale. He never arrived.
Jordan suffered a cardiac arrest in the car and, despite John and mum Lisas efforts as well as those by paramedics and staff at Royal Preston Hospital, no one could save him. His death was caused by an undiagnosed heart condition. There was no history of it in his family so he had not been screened.
Lisa said: I heard this incredible screech outside and John shouted. I ran downstairs and saw Jordan. It was like the lights had gone off.
When the paramedics arrived they put a heart monitor on him and there was nothing. We knew then that he had gone but we were just hoping and willing him to breathe. They worked on him for an hour at the hospital and did everything they could.
The Grants are determined that Jordan will not be just another statistic. Lisa and John, Jordans brother Lewis, 11, and six-year-old sister Imogen, as well as friends and many people in Preston, are all now helping to prevent other families enduring the same heartbreak.
Shortly after their sons death, Lisa and policeman John, decided to set up the Jordan Grant Memorial Fund with Cardiac Risk in the Young. This national charity raises awareness of young sudden cardiac death and supports families affected by it. They are determined to make more people aware of the condition and raise enough money to provide mobile heart screening units.
Lisa, a telecommunications manager at Royal Preston Hospital, said: If Jordan had been screened things could be so different. With him, it was a time bomb waiting to go off. There are 12 children and young adults who die every week in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions. For us its about getting children screened as early as possible. We are trying to get two units per year to screen 200 children. If we can stop one family going through this then we have done our job.
Jordan, a former pupil at Our Ladys Catholic High School who was in his first year at Cardinal Newman College, was an ambitious but modest young man who dreamed of becoming a sports journalist. He wrote reports on American Football matches for a website and although he had only just started sixth form. he had already earmarked the journalism course he wanted to study at the University of Central Lancashire. He was also a huge fan of Preston North End.
Lisa said: He was so ambitious and so dedicated. He was reading newspapers before he even started primary school and his teachers were always really impressed.
Every day I would come home from work and he would be sat at his computer doing his school work. He was the perfect son. He was amazing.
Much has already been done to raise the 12,000 needed for the mobile screening units which will be provided for children in the Lancashire area.
Everything from sponsored cycles, swims, and silences have taken place. On November 17th a special ball will be held at Westleigh Conference Centre. The event, which now has a waiting list for tickets, will be held to raise money for the memorial fund, to celebrate Jordans life and also to mark Jordans 18th birthday which would have taken place the next day.
Lisa said: 18 was Jordans favourite number so we wanted to do something special. It is not just about raising money, it is also about remembering what a wonderful person he was.
Were feeling really confident that by Christmas we will have reached our target. I cant express what that will mean to us. Jordan would be so proud. He would think Is everyone really doing that for me?
This overwhelming support, particularly from Jordans close-knit group of friends, is carrying the Grant family through this incredibly difficult time.
His friends have continued the football team Jordan played in, they have done fundraising events and at the funeral they carried Jordan into the church wearing PNE shirts embossed with the words Grant 18.
Reaching the 12,000 target would certainly be a fitting memorial to Jordan. But in the meantime there is plenty to remember him by.
Lisa said: You never think youre going to have to deal with these things. We know he would have reached his dreams. Thats what gets us - so much opportunity wasted and he is never coming back.
But we are so lucky to have had him in our lives, The support we have had just shows how well Jordan was liked and what an absolutely amazing young man he was.
Jordan will certainly not be forgotten especially being the inspiration behind a campaign that could save the lives of many young people.
If you would like to donate to the Jordan Grant Memorial Fund email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Jordans Joggers fundraising page at virginmoneygiving.com/giving. Type Jordan Grant in the search facility or visit www.jordangrant18.co.uk