January 24, 2023 4:24 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

In Parliament last week, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron called for urgent action to prevent sudden unexpected deaths in children.

During a Parliamentary debate, Tim spoke of a constituent who sadly lost their two-year-old son, Wilfred, as a result of complications caused by a febrile seizure. Wilfred had suffered from febrile seizures throughout his life which had not been investigated seriously.

Speaking in Westminster Hall Tim said: "I spoke last night to my constituent Charlotte and her husband Andy regarding their little son Wilfred, who was two years and 10 months old when he died a little over a year ago.

"Charlotte and Andy refer to Wilfred as a 'vibrant, energetic little boy who had a vivacious and fearless lust for life'. She goes on to say, 'The shock that reverberates into every aspect of your life when your child dies unexpectedly and suddenly is unimaginable'.

"Unimaginable it is to those of us who have not personally experienced that tragedy. As I seek to honour Wilfred, perhaps the best thing that I can do is speak briefly about actions that could spare other families from experiencing the grief and tragedy with which Wilfred's family continue to live."

Tim called for a pathway for NHS Trusts which would allow them to deal with children who suffer febrile seizures and investigate the source of the issue.

Tim also made reference to the charity 'Cardiac Risk in the Young' (CRY) who carry out cardiac screenings of young people at schools in the North West of England: "Thousands of people have been assessed by Cardiac Risk in the Young, which is a wonderful charity that works across the North-West and further - indeed, it has done sessions in Kendal.

"I encourage the Minister to look into how we can screen young people particularly if there is any family history, to ensure that we do not lose them to undiagnosed heart conditions."

This is important work as, due to their age, young people are often not screened for heart conditions even if they have an extensive family history of cardiac issues.

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "This is a devastating issue that we have to be doing everything in our power to combat.

"To experience the loss of a child and have that loss left unexplainable must be prevented at all costs. NHS trusts should be granted the resources that would allow them to investigate febrile seizures in infants and young people.

"Furthermore, we must continue regular screenings of young people for cardiac issues so as few parents as possible suffer such utterly tragic unexpected bereavement."