Misdiagnosis of Worthing father highlighted

The Harris siblings, from left, Hollie, Talia, Georgia, Louis, Lara and Layla
The Harris siblings, from left, Hollie, Talia, Georgia, Louis, Lara and Layla

Six siblings rode from London to Brighton to raise money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of their father.

Sadly, carpenter Tom Harris was misdiagnosed with the lung condition COPD, when he actually had heart failure.

Ready for the off in London on Father's Day

Ready for the off in London on Father's Day

The family was devastated when he died unexpectedly aged 69 on January 10 this year.

Fitness instructor Hollie, 32, travel agent Lara, 31, solicitor Georgia, 28, fitness instructor and care worker Louis, 26, model Layla 20, and dog groomer Talia, 19, completed the 54-mile charity bike ride on Father’s Day and raised more than £3,000.

Georgia said: “He had been wrongly treated for four years when, in August 2015, he suddenly collapsed and underwent an emergency aortic valve replacement.

“His heart was operating at just eight per cent initially but he was seemingly getting a lot better and was going about life as usual until he tragically and very unexpectedly passed away.

Tom Harris, an Irish-born carpenter

Tom Harris, an Irish-born carpenter

“He had actually developed heart failure, not COPD, and this late diagnosis sadly cost him his life and left his family heartbroken.”

Animal lover Thomas was born in Ireland and lived in Worthing with wife Jill as committed vegetarians. They regularly supported PAWS Animal Sanctuary in Findon and Jill now continues this with the help of her children.

The family wants to raise awareness of conditions similar to Tom’s in the hope others may be spared the pain of losing a loved one due to misdiagnosis and wrong treatment.

Georgia added: “His life was cut short but, with the help of kind donations to this very worthy charity, we hope that his death will not have been in vain.”

The bike ride also raised several hundred pounds for PAWS, which was gratefully received.

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