Friends taking plunge to support fund after shock death of James
FAMILY and friends of a man who died suddenly from a heart condition have proved they have a head for heights.
James David Thomas, from Bonymaen, died in his sleep three years ago, aged just 21.
The keen footballer was a victim of a cardiac condition known as Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).
Since then, his family have been working to raise money for charity Sads UK, whose mission is to save lives and support individuals and families who are predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities.
Their latest fundraiser was taking part in a 160ft bungee jump, from a crane in Bristol — and follows on from a skydive they did over Fairwood Common.
James's sister Vikki Thomas said: "James was a keen sportsman — he played football for Carreg Wen Colts and was an avid Swansea City and Manchester United fan.
"He was a popular young man, and always lived life to the full. "Following his death, as a family we were overwhelmed with tributes.
"Many of James's friends remember him as a bit of a joker, someone who was always up for a laugh. He will be remembered as a kind, family man who devoted a lot of his time to his three nephews, Bailey, Rhys and Mikey. He would have been thrilled to meet his beautiful niece, Lilly Grace."
Vikki was joined in the bungee jump by friend Jessica O'Callaghan. Jessica's brother Ben O'Callaghan — James's brother-in-law — also recently raised money for Sads UK by taking part in a white collar boxing event held at Oceana nightclub in June.
Anne Jolly, founder of Sads UK, the Ashley Jolly SAD Trust, said: "We are very grateful to Victoria and Jessica for organising and taking part in such a fantastic bungee jump challenge to raise awareness and funds following James's tragic death.
"We really do appreciate and value their continued support and fundraising efforts in memory of James. Research into sudden arrhythmic death is absolutely vital to help people in the future and prevent such untimely deaths."
Sads UK also paid thanks to fundraisers Liam Steins, James's best friend, and Paul Raeburn.
The charity funds research into Sads and provides cardiac equipment such as heart monitors, event recorders and defibrillators to help save lives.
For more information call 01277 811215 or visit www.sadsuk.org.
To donate visit www.just giving.com/JessicaOCallaghan1#