A woman who kicked her boyfriend out of bed because of his loud snores was horrified to discover he was actually dead.
Lisa Lee, 25, said she was in bed asleep next to Lewis Little, also 25, when she woke up to a loud gasping noise.
‘I just thought he was snoring, so I kicked him out of the bed and told him to shut up,’ she said.
‘But I felt that the sheets were wet and knew something was wrong.
‘I turned the lights on and his face was purple – he wasn’t breathing.
‘I called an ambulance and it felt like it took forever.’
She was horrified to be told that he had actually died hours earlier, and the ‘snores’ were the sound of air leaving his body and passing the vocal chords.
Lisa, who says she has lost her soulmate, knew that Lewis had a heart condition called Brugada syndrome.
However, doctors had told them that he was a low risk sufferer.
Lisa, a mum-of-one, has started a petition for people with the rare condition to be offered an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a device which restarts the heart, on the NHS.
She believes an ICD would have saved her boyfriend’s life.
‘He begged to be fitted with an ICD and each time was told he didn’t need one,’ she said.
Lisa, 25, said: ‘We were told that Lewis would have a long, happy and healthy life – but he died one year after diagnosis.
‘Losing Lewis has destroyed me and our son Tyler.
‘The syndrome is a silent killer – I just want to raise awareness of it and make sure something gets done.’
The couple, from Ashington, Northumberland, went to regular check ups about Lewis’ condition, but say they were assured that he was ‘low-risk’.
Lewis, who worked as an agency worker, lived a completely normal and active life and was not prescribed any medication for the condition.
Lisa, a sales assistant, said: ‘I know I can’t change what happened to my family, but I just want to save other families from going through the same grief because of Brugada.
‘Lewis was my soul mate. He would always say to me that he would propose – he had already picked out our wedding song.
‘It has just put everything into perspective, life is so short and I feel like I was very naive to think that nothing like this would ever happen.’
Brugada syndrome is an uncommon, but serious, heart condition which can result in abnormally rapid heart rhythms that can cause palpitations or fainting.
The problem can be genetic, or may be passed on in families but it is possible for people with the condition to have no symptoms at all.
The condition is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young, healthy people and may not be diagnosed because there are no visible abnormalities.