Thursday 14 December 2017

Family suffers second tragedy in less than a year

Mark Hilliard

THE fatal shooting of James Hughes marked a double tragedy for the family this year -- his mother died unexpectedly just eight months ago.

Joan Hughes (56) died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome on April 19 and was buried on Easter Sunday.

Just hours before being shot dead, Mr Hughes attended a raffle in his local Clarnagh Maid pub to raise money in her memory.

The close-knit Hughes family were devastated by the loss of Mrs Hughes and undertook local fundraising in a bid to raise awareness of the condition.

Also known as Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, it refers to a cardiac-related death where no obvious medical problems are detected and the person appeared to have been perfectly healthy.

On Saturday night a raffle had taken place in the Hughes's village of Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, in order to help buy a defibrillator and to fund first aid training in the local youth club.

Locals said this was a good illustration of the Hughes family -- dedicated to the local community and to helping others.

The family decided to use their mother's untimely death to help raise awareness of the condition, particularly as they felt there was a lack of support for families who had suffered a loss.

James's sister Geraldine Hughes (24) found her mother on the day she died and was unable to rouse her after hearing her alarm going off.

"She'd just had a great week off work," she told the 'Crossmaglen Examiner' last October.

"Mummy cooked for 20 of us on Sunday and was full of life. It's so hard to believe that I went to bed on Monday thinking that the next day my life wouldn't be the same."

Irish Independent

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