Monday 16 December 2019

Sir David Frost's sons call for more testing over genetic heart condition

Sir David Frost with his son Miles
Sir David Frost with his son Miles

Sir David Frost's sons have called for more testing for genetic heart problems after their brother died suddenly from a condition that their father also suffered from.

The broadcaster died at the age of 74 in 2013 from a heart attack, and just under two years later h is eldest son, Miles, died suddenly from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - which leads to the thickening of the heart's walls - aged 31, while out jogging.

Miles' family, including his two brothers Wilfred and George, and their mother Carina, only discovered that their father's post-mortem examination had identified him as a sufferer four months after Miles' death.

On Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, the two brothers said that if Miles had been tested and diagnosed, his death could have been prevented, and appealed for people to find out about the condition and get tested if they think they might be at risk.

Wilfred Frost said: "There's not an automatic system in place which clicks in when it's identified in someone which needs to change."

Each child of someone with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has a 50% chance of inheriting the condition but the genes responsible for the condition can often be identified.

Family members of those diagnosed can be offered a potentially life-saving genetic test to find out if they are at risk and then treated.

George said: "After Dad died, Miles was a rock to us all, literally dragged us up and got all of us through it, none more so than Mum, who is the strongest woman I know, and was instrumental in that.

"To lose him as well - there's a horrible irony that the person who managed to get us through Miles' death was Miles himself in terms of everything he taught us."

The family have also set up The Miles Frost Fund with the British Heart Foundation in a bid to raise £1.5 million to ensure that immediate family members of those affected with the condition can undergo genetic testing.

George added: "If we can stop just one family from going through what Mum has had to go through, what Wilf and I have had to go through, then that would provide a little bit of solace."

PA Media

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