Documentary on One

Gone Too Soon

A look at SADS, Sudden Adult Death Syndrome featuring accounts from those who have lost loved ones and the impact it has had on their lives (2005).

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Documentary maker: John Scally

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Gone Too Soon

Death always sends a chill to the bones.

Every death is a painful reminder of the ultimate and unwelcome end for us all. It is all the more harrowing when a young person dies and the promise of a young life is denied.

These thoughts struck many people in March last year when they heard the shocking news that Cormac McAnallen had died. Cormac was an icon of modern-day Gaelic football. It was only after the cause of his death had been established that many Irish people were introduced for the first time to the term: SADS, Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

Sudden Adult Death Syndrome events are defined as non-traumatic, non-violent, unexpected occurrences resulting in death within as little as six hours of previously witnessed normal health. This documentary explores the impact of SADS.

It features the stories of Marie Greene, Karen Murphy and Mary, Brendan and Michael Arrigan whose lives have all been affected by SADS. While there are no official statistics available, figures from the Coroner's Office suggest that on average at least one young Irish adult (defined as under 35) dies because of
SADS on a weekly basis.

Arising from the death of her 15 year-old son, Peter, one of the contributors to the programme, Marie Greene has set up a support group, called CRY, for people who have been affected by SADS.

CRY's contact number is (01) 8395438.

Produced by John Scally

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries

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