A MUCH-LOVED father of three – who died of an undiagnosed heart condition aged just 43 – will be remembered at two schools thanks to his devoted wife.
Gary Hawkes, from Solihull, died suddenly on January 4, 2014, of an unknown heart condition leaving his loving wife Angela and three young daughters devastated and heartbroken.
In a bid to help prevent future tragedies for other families Angela decided to donate a defibrillator to Sharmans Cross Junior School and Streetsbrook Infant and Nursery School – which two of their daughters attend – to raise awareness of such conditions.
Speaking to The Observer Angela said their three daughters Liliana, ten, Halle (eight) and Cara, four, were more than happy to have these set up at their schools in memory of Gary.
The 40-year-old said: “I hope there is never any need for one to be used but they will provide piece of mind and help if ever the situation arises.
“They can be used on a child or an adult with just the switch of a button which is what we wanted as children could have unknown conditions and it will be there if ever there is ever a need for it.”
Gary, a group finance controller at Triumph Motorcycle Factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire, was a real family man who enjoyed taking his daughters swimming and cycling.
Angela added: “Gary was a brilliant Dad and we miss him every day.
“I am just trying to carry on with life, keeping it as normal as possible for our daughters.
“The hard thing about losing somebody suddenly, especially for the girls – is that you don’t get to say goodbye or tell them that you love them for the last time.”
Teachers and staff at Sharmans Cross Junior School and Streetsbrook Infant and Nursery School have been trained to use the life-saving equipment.
This latest addition to both schools has been welcomed by staff and teachers at the both as they will help children of today and in the future.
Debbie Butlin, operations manager at Streetsbrook Infant and Nursery School said: “Both schools are grateful to Angela and her three daughters who have hopefully given the gift of life in the future, the gift of life is priceless.
“If only that had been the case for them then they may not now be without a husband and daddy.
“Now his memory will continue in these two schools, the schools and their community are indebted.”
Gary Hawkes died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition in 2013. (s)