Family of Hastings man, 23, who died suddenly to raise money for charity

The family of a Hastings man who died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition are running in Hastings Half Marathon to raise money for charity.

Dan Parris was just 23 when he collapsed and died without warning on February 22, 2021.

He had never been diagnosed with any heart conditions and seemed to be in perfect health.

He left his wife-to-be Holly and five-month-old daughter Olivia.

Dan Parris was just 23 when he died suddenly and unexpectedfly. His family are now running Hastings Half Marathon to celebrate his life and raise money for charity. SUS-220314-170612001

Dan’s mum Nicky said: “A year ago, our whole world was literally torn apart.

“Dan was fit, healthy and doing so well in his career, and had his whole future ahead of him with his beautiful fiancé and daughter.

“He was a lovely, kind and gentle man and we miss him desperately.

“Although we were in the middle of another lockdown, the day Dan died started off as just another ordinary day.

Living with his wife-to-be Holly and five-month-old daughter Olivia (pictured), Dan’s tragic death serves as a shocking reminder that serious heart conditions can affect anyone, SUS-220314-170642001

“As an electrician, he was allowed to go out to work, so left the house he shared with Holly and Olivia and headed off to a local residential property where he’d been booked to fit some wall-lights.

“Tragically, not long after Dan arrived at the address he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

“The homeowner called for an ambulance and bravely performed CPR. Police arrived on scene first, followed by ambulance and a short while after Matthew.

“Sadly, despite prolonged efforts of police and paramedics, Dan succumbed to his cardiac arrest and died at the scene with his brother Matthew by his side”

Dan Parris was just 23 when he collapsed and died without warning on February 22, 2021. He had never been diagnosed with any heart conditions, and seemed to be the picture of perfect health. Pictured here with his brother and sister. SUS-220314-170652001

A team of seven runners will be taking part in the Hastings Half Marathon on Sunday (March 20) to raise funds for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) – a national organisation which provided vital care for the Parris family.

The team will be led by Dan’s brother Matthew, a local police officer who was on duty at the time and attended the scene.

He will be joined by four of Dan’s closest, local friends, their cousin, and a colleague of his mum.

Matthew said: “This extremely tough life lesson has really empathised to me the importance of raising awareness of SADS and the diagnosis of hidden heart conditions.

Dan’s mum, Nicky, said: "A year ago, our whole world was literally torn apart. “Dan was fit, healthy and doing so well in his career, and had his whole future ahead of him with his beautiful fiancé (pictured) and daughter." SUS-220314-170632001

“Not only this, but it has also highlighted to me the importance of administering CPR and how crucial it is to have the early use of a defibrillator.”

Every week in the UK, around 12 young people die suddenly from a previously diagnosed heart condition, according to CRY. Of these deaths 80 per cent will occur with no prior symptoms.

CRY is committed to the importance of specialist, cardiac screening. It also funds pioneering research into the conditions that can cause young sudden cardiac death as well as providing a unique bereavement support network for all families who have been affected.

Dr Steven Cox, chief executive of CRY, said: “It takes great courage and determination for anyone who has been affected by young sudden cardiac death to be able to see beyond their own situation and to want to raise funds for CRY and prevent other people from ever having to endure the same devastating grief as they have experienced.

“On behalf of all of us at CRY, I would like to say a huge thank you to Matthew and the rest of the team running in the Hastings Half marathon for their ongoing fundraising and support.

“As well as helping to raise vital funds, this event will also raise significant awareness for CRY among the local community and right across the South Coast.

The Parris family now hope that the Hastings Half Marathon, as well as a charity collection day at Bexhill United FC on March 12, will give Dan’s friends and colleagues the chance to finally come together to pay their respects and celebrate his life. SUS-220314-170622001

“By speaking so publicly about their own personal and very recent experience, we know they will also help to spark conversation and awareness amongst many teenagers and young adults who, all too often, are simply not aware of the prevalence of sudden cardiac death in young people or the steps that can be taken to help protect themselves and others.”

Due to Covid restrictions in 2021, only 30 people were permitted to attend Dan’s funeral and a wake was not allowed to go ahead.

The Parris family now hope that the Hastings Half Marathon, as well as a charity collection day at Bexhill United FC on March 12, will give Dan’s friends and colleagues the chance to finally come together to pay their respects and celebrate his life.

Nicky added: “Dan was such an important part of all of our lives – he was a wonderful son and brother to his siblings Matthew and Kiera, an amazing fiancé to his partner Holly, loving daddy to Olivia, and a brilliant friend, a key part of a group of mates who’d been together with since primary school.

“He was always the reliable and dependable one – the one they used to call ‘Big Daddy’.

“But to me, he’ll always be my baby boy.”

If you would like to support the team taking part in the Hastings Half Marathon in memory of Dan Parris, go to the Just Giving website.

More news: