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Peter Pan Lyric Theatre

Fundraiser in memory of Limestone mother

FUNDRAISING: Zara and mum Marie Braniff, who died suddenly from a heart attack on St Patrick’s Day in 2016 FUNDRAISING: Zara and mum Marie Braniff, who died suddenly from a heart attack on St Patrick’s Day in 2016
By Conor McParland

A FUNDRAISING night will be held this Saturday (February 2) in memory of a North Belfast woman who died suddenly just two weeks after she became a grandmother for the first time.
Marie Braniff (51) died suddenly at her Limestone Road home on St Patrick’s Day 2016 after suffering a heart attack and going into cardiac arrest. Despite efforts by her family to perform CPR, they were unable to resuscitate her.
This Saturday, the mother of four’s family are holding a charity night in St Malachy’s Old Boys’ Club to raise money for British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland in her memory. The charity funds research into heart and circulatory diseases including the prevention and treatment of heart attacks.
Marie’s daughter Zara said her mum had been delighted to have become a granny for the first time just two weeks before she died.
“Mummy’s death came as such a shock to us all. We knew that heart disease ran in our family and my grandparents had had heart attacks at a young age but we didn’t expect this to happen,” she said.
“Just two weeks before she died my wee nephew was born and she became a granny for the first time. She couldn’t wait for the baby to be born and had everything all in for him coming. She just doted on him but she only got two weeks with him before she died.”
The charity night in St Malachy’s Old Boy’s Club will raise funds to power research into heart and circulatory diseases.
“We don’t want another family to suffer like we have,” added Zara.
“My wee brother found mummy in the house and between us we tried to resuscitate her but it was too late. We want to raise money to help fund research and stop this happening to other people. So many people loved and miss her. Her husband David, her children and her four brothers and all her friends. The night will be a lovely tribute to her.
“Saturday will be a really good night and so many businesses and local people have been really generous with ballot prizes. It would be great if people could come along and enjoy a great night.”
Órla Clarke, fundraising manager for BHF NI said: “Thanks to Zara and the Braniff family for organising the charity night which will raise much needed funds for research. Our research has saved thousands of lives. Before the mid-1970s, nobody fully understood the cause of heart attacks and 70 per cent of people here who suffered a heart attack didn’t survive.
“Our research has meant that today 70 per cent of people do survive a heart attack. But stories like Marie’s story show there is still so much to do.
“ No family should lose their mummy at just 51. We need to keep funding research so that more lives can be saved.”

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