A BARNT Green man who has experienced the devastating effect of heart disease has chosen to support the British Heart Foundation by leaving a gift to the charity in his will.

Alan Sanson has pledged to leave the money in memory of his brother Edward, who was born with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart condition where the major arteries leaving the heart are the wrong way round. Sadly, Edward died in 1990, aged 30, leaving his daughter, who was 18-months old at the time, and his wife.

“Edward had an operation when he was just six weeks old to save his life but there was no guarantee how long this would help. I can still remember his blue lips and fingers and how he was always prone to picking up chest infections," said Alan.

Five years after his first operation, helped by research supported by the British Heart Foundation, Edward had his second operation.

"It was a very traumatic time for my parents. I have never forgotten all those trips to the hospital, the image of Edward as I looked through the portal window after his operation, covered in tubes and wires. His lips and fingers finally pink is still imprinted on my mind and it’s such an emotional feeling," explained Alan.

“When Edward passed away, it was a tremendous shock. Edward had a most amazing life; he did more in his 30 years than most people do in three times as long. We were always told he should be treated as ‘any other child’ and that is what we did. We would fight, argue and always care for each other. He was and always will be an inspiration to me.

“It is because of my brother that I have chosen to leave a gift to the BHF. They were there at the beginning of Edward’s journey and over the past 50 years have helped pioneer life-saving research. I hope that though my gift I can be part of the vital work the BHF do and hopefully prevent a future family from suffering the loss I have.”

Sarah Dalling, legacy marketing manager at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Every week, about 2,000 families lose someone they love to heart and circulatory disease.

"Pioneering research, funded by people leaving gifts in wills to the BHF, is helping to make life-saving discoveries, save more lives and keep more families together.

"We want to thank people for supporting us in this way and we encourage others to about what a gift in your will could help us achieve in the future.”

To leave money to the BHF in your will, visit bhf.org.uk/think.