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Five swims in five countries for a five-star son

After the sudden death of my son James in December 2015 and the long wait for the autopsy which showed he had died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome with no signs or symptoms, I decided to raise funds for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) earmarked for screening and research to overcome the sadness which I feel every day.

James was an athlete who completed three triathlons in his last year, including Windsor. His cross country team won the prestigious Knole Run while he was a student at Winchester College, where he also was a swimming, tennis, water polo and football team member. He continued to play cricket and football for Winchester Old Boys plus his work teams as well as squash, golf and snowboarding for pleasure.

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James was just 34 when he died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

At the time of his death he was Director of Corporate Risk and Treasury Management for Rabobank in Europe and was due to fly to Australia a few days later to take in the Boxing Day Test match at the MCG and see his cousins and friends.

James lived for the moment and led life to the full. As one of his friends from Trinity College, Dublin said: “James lived more in his 34 years than most would do in 34 lives”.

Because of this I am doing the following swims for him and CRY:

England: Seahorse Swim (3.8km), 3 July 2016

Ireland: Loch Allua (7-8km), 9 July 2016

Turkey: Bosphorus (6.5km), 24 July 2016

Italy: Coppa Byron (7.6km), 28 August 2016

Greece: Kalamata (30km), 3 September 2016

To support Ellery in her swims, donations can be made directly to www.c-r-y.org.uk/memorial-funds/james-mcgowan