The tragic death of a friend’s five-year-old daughter has set a Surrey vet on a mission to raise money to combat sudden cardiac deaths in young people
Sarah Ramsey, clinical director at Alder Vets in Guildford, Surrey, has vowed to complete 12 challenges in 12 months in memory of Ariana Jahangir and to support the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
The vet said the sudden death of little Ariana left her shocked and determined to do something to ensure other families don’t have to endure the same pain and anguish as the five-year-old’s parents Rouge and Tariq.
Sarah said: “Ariana was a friend of my son at school. They were in the same class and she helped him settle in. That’s how we became friends with Rouge and Tariq.
“Ariana was a really popular, sweet, clever, talented little girl and my son describes her as wonderful, perfect and kind.
“Suddenly, in September 2018, Ariana became very unwell and was quickly moved to a specialist hospital, where she was found to be in heart failure.
“Tests showed she had a dilated cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle) and she was placed on a transplant list.
“Sadly, whilst waiting for a donor, she passed away on November 16, 2018, aged just five. It was such a shock and was very upsetting for everyone who knew Ariana, Rouge and Tariq.
“It was so sudden and quick, and we all realised it could have been any one of us.
“It is unthinkable that your child can suddenly become critically ill having shown no signs of illness and just heartbreaking to contemplate losing them.”
That sense of loss and sorrow inspired Sarah to act and she was soon teaming up with fellow school mum Jennifer Campbell to take part in last year’s London Landmarks Half Marathon.
The pair raised more than £3,000 for CRY and, this year, Sarah has kicked on with her own amazing challenge to complete a fund-raiser for every month of the year in a bid to raise another £3,000.
Sarah, who has worked at Alder Vets since June 2018, said: “The emotional impact of a sudden, seemingly inexplicable death of a child is beyond explanation and CRY has been extremely helpful in the emotional and clinical support they have provided for Rouge and Tariq.
“I’ve also learned that every week in the UK at least 12 apparently fit and healthy young people die of undiagnosed cardiac conditions.
“That’s why I decided to set myself another challenge and to complete these 12 challenges in 12 months to raise even more money for them.
“Both Covid-19 and the storms earlier in the year have tried to scupper things for me but I am back on track to finish it all and if anyone wants to help this amazing charity, they can donate via my Justgiving page.
“With all donations, CRY can reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death by working with cardiologists and family doctors to establish good practice and appropriate screening facilities to promote and protect the cardiac health of our young.
“By supporting CRY, people will be helping save young lives from these potentially fatal cardiac conditions.”
For more information on Sarah’s inspirational 12 in 12 challenges, and to donate, visit: