Widow ‘overwhelmed by love and support’
8:55am Monday 18th March 2013 in Local
A HEARTBROKEN widow and mother-of-five says she has been overwhelmed by the love and support she has received from her friends and the community after her husband died from a medical condition he did not know he had.
Claire Axon, from Little Lever, lost her husband of 14 years, Neil, when he died suddenly from a genetic condition on Christmas Day.
Now, in her husband’s memory, Mrs Axon has set up a group to support Heart UK and the British Heart Foundation to raise awareness of the condition that caused his death.
Mr Axon suffered from familial hypercholesterolaemia, a devastating condition which causes high blood cholesterol, which led to Mr Axon developing coronary thrombosis.
Her friends, Karen Openshaw and Carol Holden, decided to help by diving into the pool at David Lloyd for a two-hour swim to raise enough money to send Mrs Axon and her family on holiday.
Their sponsors included Rev Chris Edmondson, the Bishop of Bolton, as well as community members and local churches.
Mrs Openshaw, who lives in Little Lever, said: “Carol did a two-hour run beforehand and a two-hour cycle ride afterwards.
“We both did the two-hour swim, completing 120 lengths.
She added: “There is a sense of helplessness when something like this happens. This is the community showing the family that even though we cannot bring Neil back that they feel loved, supported and cared for.”
More than £1,200 has been raised so far.
Mrs Axon’s sons — Jordan, aged 17, Niam, aged 14, Remi, aged nine, Euan, aged seven and four-year-old Caelan — will now have to be tested for the condition.
Mrs Axon was by the poolside to see her friends put themselves through the gruelling challenge.
The 38-year-old said: “They are amazing and inspirational. I am overwhelmed and so grateful for the support I have received. It makes me feel that my family matters in the community, and there is that community spirit, even from people I don’t know.
“The support is helping me — and it inspires me to want to make a difference and to do it for my children.”