Family of man, 32, who suddenly died from cardiac arrest raising money for community defibrillator

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian journalist Tom Savvides

The wife of a man who died unexpectedly from a cardiac arrest at the age of 32 is raising money for a defibrillator to be made available in her local community. 

Martin May-Hills suffered Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) at his home in Billingshurst.

His sudden death in November 2021 left his wife Stephanie and their four children devastated.

What is SADS?

  • The condition is linked to an undiagnosed irregular heart beat.

  • Sudden arrhythmic death syndrome affects around 500 people in the UK every year. It is also sometimes referred to as sudden adult death syndrome.

  • The rhythm of your heart (which controls your heartbeat) is controlled by electrical impulses. If the electrical impulses go wrong, it can cause an abnormal heart rhythm known as an arrhythmia.

  • Some arrhythmias can be dangerous if they’re left untreated, they can cause a cardiac arrest. 

Martin's wife says she's determined to raise money for a defibrillator to save other lives in her local community

The new housing estate in West Sussex where Martin lived does not have a defibrillator nearby, so Martin's family and those who live nearby have started a fundraising campaign to buy one.

Stephanie and her brother Tom will also be doing a moonlight walk from Bognor Pier to Brighton Pier in memory of Martin.

Stephanie May-Hills hopes by raising awareness of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome she will help save lives and prevent other families from going through the same experiences her family have suffered.

For a full breakdown of the defibrillators available near you, click here for an interactive map.

National Database of Defibrillators map shows where the devices are placed across the country