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Widow Kirsty Gordon-Thomas raises funds for Cardiomyopathy UK after death of husband Lindsay


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A devastated widow has raised thousands for charity following the death of her husband from a hereditary heart disease.

Kirsty Gordon-Thomas, assistant manager of Basepoint in Dartford, watched her husband Lindsay deteriorate after he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2014.

The pair got together in their early 20s and have two children, Marli, seven, and four-year-old Jaxon.

The Gordon-Thomas family at St Thomas' Hospital, in London.
The Gordon-Thomas family at St Thomas' Hospital, in London.

The 32-year-old said: “Almost overnight Linds went from being an athletic sportsman, an energetic hands-on dad, to struggling to lift our children, carry bags or even walk.

“After 10 years of fun together it has been devastating to see my husband and best friend deteriorate in the past two-and-a-half years since diagnosis.”

Lindsey was put on the heart transplant waiting list and was building up his strength in hospital for the operation.

Every day she and the children were going to St Thomas’ Hospital in London after school and work to see him.

In September things were looking up, and that was when Kirsty decided to go on a fundraising mission, trekking in Iceland.

Along with friend Lizzie Dimmock, Kirsty aimed to raise funds for Cardiomyopathy UK – the only charity which works to research and treat the condition.

She said: “We had a bucket list and Iceland was on there, but because of Linds’ health he couldn’t go anywhere cold, so I sort of did it for the both of us.

Kirsty Gordon-Thomas was the highest fundraiser on the day raising more than £1k for Cardiomyopathy UK.
Kirsty Gordon-Thomas was the highest fundraiser on the day raising more than £1k for Cardiomyopathy UK.

“He cheered me on and wished me luck but on the last day of the trip I got a call to say things weren’t looking good, so I came straight home. Lizzie stayed to finish for us.

“We were told they had a week to turn things around, and if Lindsey didn’t improve there was not much more they could do.

“While I was absorbing this, he said ‘I’ve got tickets to Arsenal, can I still go?’. I just thought, ‘oh my God, typical Lindsey’.

“But it was a real motivation for him. We got the medical transport sorted and he went a week later. Everyone at the Emirates was so helpful.”

After that Lindsey deteriorated. He had six cardiac arrests within six hours and was told he would not survive any operation or transplant.

He went home to be with his family, and died in peace on October 2, about a month after Kirsty had finished her trek.

“The kids have been amazing,” added Kirsty. “They know their dad isn’t coming home, but Jaxon always believed he was the real Iron Man because his defibrillator was like the box in his chest.

“Marli is seven going on 27 and she’s looking after me, as much as the other way round. She heard me crying the other day and came into my room with tissues and a glass of water.”

Paula Weeks, Kirsty, and Michelle Gagie at Basepoint Dartford - the company made Cardiomyopathy UK its charity of the year
Paula Weeks, Kirsty, and Michelle Gagie at Basepoint Dartford - the company made Cardiomyopathy UK its charity of the year

Cardiomyopathy is a hereditary illness meaning both children carry a 50% chance of developing the disease. They are now having yearly screenings to pick up any abnormalities.

Cardiomyopathy UK is the only charity which supports people with this condition in the UK.

Kirsty said: “It’s a small charity and most people have never heard of it, or the condition but when you start talking to people, it’s amazing how many know somebody who have been affected by it.

“The problem is people don’t generally give money to causes they don’t know so we’re really trying to raise awareness as well as money.”

Lindsey had signs of the heart condition when he was younger and once had palpitations, but it stopped and he did not go to a screening for it.

If he had caught the condition earlier, it is possible he may still be alive.

Michelle and Kirsty present a cheque to Sheila Nardone of Cardiomyopathy UK
Michelle and Kirsty present a cheque to Sheila Nardone of Cardiomyopathy UK

Kirsty added: “Cardiomyopathy UK have supported us all in so many ways. From initial diagnosis where I scrambled for information to help us understand, support groups to help us find acceptance, support nurses to help us deal with symptoms and advice and so much more.

“I am so grateful to them for all they have done for us.

“It’s important for me to keep supporting them, especially as our children may have the same condition and also need their help one day.”

The Iceland trek is one of several challenges Kirsty has taken on.

It raised £2,600 and now The ACT Foundation, a grant-giving organisation which owns Basepoint, is matching that to give £5,200 to the charity.

The money has been added to the £1,000 Kirsty raised in the 21st annual KM charity walk earlier this year, and other people’s efforts at Basepoint, including a skydive and the London to Brighton challenge – all of which were match-funded to give an overall total of more than £9,700.

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