Brother's tribute to mum who died after being found unconscious by her fiancé

James Greenwood with sister Amy and nephew Bayley
James Greenwood with sister Amy and Amy's son Bayley -Credit:James Greenwood

A brother is honouring his sister after she died from an asthma attack.

Amy Greenwood, of Skelmersdale, was 22 when she was found unconscious by her fiancé, not breathing, after she suffered a sudden asthma attack. Despite CPR and ventilation attempts, a heartbreaking decision was made to turn off her life support the following day.

Asda worker Amy, who was a mum-of-two to Bayley and Orla, had suffered from the common lung condition all her life. She had been in and out of hospital over the years, but never had an episode as bad as the one she had on the night before she died.

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Amy, brother James and sister Zoe were incredibly close and “would do everything together”. After her death, James was “plunged into grief” and needed a purpose to help him deal with the loss - that’s when he took up running.

Now, after months of training, James is running the London Marathon, today, Sunday, April 21, in memory of Amy.

He told the ECHO: “Losing Amy was so hard. She was like my best friend. The three of us were so close and we did everything together. We enjoyed things like going out for lunch and going on shopping trips, we enjoyed our holidays together spending time together at the beach or pool.

“We often took Amy's kids Bailey and Orla out on little trips as well to the farm or to the park. Spending time with Amy was great. It will never be the same without her and there will always be a huge gap in all of our lives without Amy around.

James Greenwood ran the London Marathon for Asthma and Lung UK
James Greenwood ran the London Marathon for Asthma and Lung UK -Credit:James Greenwood

“Amy was so much fun and so full of life. She was a wonderful mum and adored her kids but we will all make sure they grow up knowing what a fantastic person their mother was.”

James, a 21-year-old, ran his first London marathon in April last year and said it helped deal with his grief.

He added: “Running helped as it would give me time on my own just listening to music and zoning out. It helped me process everything and knowing I was doing it in Amy’s memory made it very emotional.

"It wasn’t easy though. I have asthma myself, although not as severe as Amy’s was. My asthma is well-controlled, and I always make sure to bring my reliever inhaler out with me on training runs, in case I get symptoms.

Amy was found 'unconscious' by her fiancé Keegan
Amy was found 'unconscious' by her fiancé Keegan -Credit:James Greenwood

“After I had finished, I got into the park at the end of the mall and sat and cried for a bit. It was a bit overwhelming but looking back, I loved every minute of it. The atmosphere and just thinking of everything Amy had gone through spurred me on whenever I hit a wall.”

James enjoyed the experience so much, that he is running again this year to raise money for Asthma + Lung UK and will be wearing something very special on his running shoes – his sister’s name.

He added: “My birthday wasn’t long after the marathon last year and my parents bought me a special gift, a tag to put on my shoes with Amy’s name on it. So, I will be looking down whenever I am finding it tough and thinking of my lovely sister.”

The night before Amy’s death, her fiancé Keegan Boylan heard a thud and when he went upstairs, he found Amy unconscious and not breathing. Immediately commencing CPR, family and paramedics were called and Amy was rushed to Wigan Hospital. Amy regained a heartbeat, but despite best efforts, she was placed on life support before dying on October 21, 2022.

Siblings Amy, James and Zoe with parents Joanne and Paul
Siblings Amy, James and Zoe with parents Joanne and Paul -Credit:James Greenwood

Keegan - who has been raising their children Bayley, five, and Orla, almost two - will also be running the marathon and he and James are planning some training runs together.

James said: “I have spoken to Kegan about it and told him about all the highs and lows, like hitting walls at certain stages and the euphoria you feel at the end, but I just told him to get on with it.

“I ran it in four hours fifty-three minutes last year, but this year I am aiming for four and a half hours. For me, the best thing has been getting up early every morning and taking the dog out for a run each day as it has given me something to do. I didn’t want to go down a hole after Amy’s death and focusing on running has helped.

“I was close to my sister and miss everything about her but hopefully she’ll be watching over me in April and cheering me on as I cross the finish line.”

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