A grieving mother is campaigning to raise awareness of deep vein thrombosis which killed her daughter at the age of just 22.
Accountant Michelle Martin, 46, is also organising a charity event in aid of Thrombosis UK at Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham on Saturday, November 26.
Two fitness instructors, Kieron Timbers and Iain Ankers-Phillips, who run the Boxercise Bootcamp classes that Michelle attends, will be rowing the equivalent of a marathon or 26 miles each on rowing machines.
According to Michelle, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is known as the “silent killer” and it was vital people were warned to look out for the symptoms.
In early 2010 her daughter, Claire, developed symptoms of breathlessness and nearly passed out a couple of times before she sought medical help.
Michelle, who lives in Wrexham and works in Sandycroft in Flintshire, said: “It got so bad she phoned the out of hours doctor and asked me to drive her there. When we got there she struggled to walk from the car to the hospital door.
“When she did see the doctor and explained her symptoms he listened to her chest and basically told her she had an inflammation of the chest wall and prescribed ibuprofen and paracetamol and sent her home.
“For the next three weeks the symptoms continued but on the Easter weekend of 2010 she came with us to have a curry at my parents’ house and we all said she looked a lot better.”
However, the following Wednesday Michelle arrived home from work to be told the police were looking for her.
She recalled: “Claire had passed away in her sleep. The coroner contacted me and told me she had died from a pulmonary embolism which was a blood clot that had travelled up from her leg.”
Michelle has researched DVT but found there was little information in the public domain.
She said: “When I googled it there was next to nothing except lots of stuff about how you could develop a DVT on long haul flights or if you were over 40. Well Claire hadn’t flown and she was only 22.
“I then came across the Lifeblood Charity, which is now known as Thrombosis UK, and was shocked to find how much DVT effected people who had not flown and were under 40. The number of people who get a DVT is incredibly high and shouldn’t be ignored.
“As a result over the last six years I have been involved in supporting Thrombosis UK spreading awareness to prevent another family going through what myself and my family have been through.
“I’m just thrilled the lads are doing this fundraising event for Thrombosis UK and I’ll be there supporting them and spreading the message and awareness of DVT and what to look out for.”
Iain Ankers-Phillips, 37, of Ruabon, a freelance personal trainer, said: “If it helps raise awareness of DVT as well as raising money for the charity then that’s great. It’s going to be tough rowing that distance and it’s going to take us around three hours.”
Kieron Timbers, 31, of Holt who works at Wrexham Waterworld, had been planning to row the distance of a marathon but only in a gym for fun.
He said: “We chose Eagles Meadow as its central and always busy so it’s an ideal place. I hope we get lots of support as it’s going to be a tough challenge to complete.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “We try and support charities as often as we can and I believe raising awareness of thrombosis is a really important thing to do.
“I wish the guys well as they attempt to complete what will be a tough challenge and I’m sure our shoppers and visitors will be as generous as they normally are which will ensure it’s a really successful day for the charity. I wish them all well.”
Michelle, Iain and Keiron have set up a just giving page which can be found at www.justgiving.com/account/your-pages/Boxercise-bootcamp-Wrexham for anyone wishing to donate and for more information about thrombosis visit the website www.thrombosisuk.org/home.php