News

Cause of sailor's death revealed

Jay Wilkie’s mother Karen Bailey feels as if a great weight has been taken off her shoulders after finding out the cause of her son’s death.
Jay Wilkie’s mother Karen Bailey feels as if a great weight has been taken off her shoulders after finding out the cause of her son’s death. Scottie Simmonds

A GENETIC heart disorder caused the death of former Bundaberg man Able Seaman Jay Wilkie.

AB Wilkie was found dead in his cabin on the HMAS Launceston while it was in Darwin on September 14.

AB Wilkie's mother Karen Bailey said the family was relieved to find out her son's death had been caused by cardiac hypertrophy, which is an enlarged heart.

“It was a great relief for me to have found out a cause of death because we need not go on thinking about what it could have been,” she said.

“It was like a load was lifted from my shoulders.”

Ms Bailey said the family had been slowly coming to terms with the tragedy.

“It was a shocking loss to all of us, especially to Keira, because it was her older brother and he was everything to her,” she said.

“You don't realise how important people are until they are gone.”

Recovery from the devastating loss has been difficult for the family, especially Ms Bailey who spent a few weeks in mental health care at Belmont Private Hospital.

“Until you go through it you don't understand how hard it is to cope with the loss of a child,” she said.

Ms Bailey, who works in the mental health industry, said a stigma was often associated with mental illness.

“The public don't understand that mental health is not just violent offenders,” she said.

“There are illnesses like post traumatic stress disorder or grief.

“Losing a loved one can cause mental health issues because your whole world can be torn apart overnight.”

Cardiologist Andrea Conradie from Bundaberg Cardiology said cardiac hypertrophy was a genetic condition which was difficult to diagnose.

Dr Conradie said the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy's symptoms include fainting spells and fatal arrhythmia.

“It is difficult to diagnose because it often does not display any symptoms and people only test for it if there is a known history in the family.

“The moment you find out a family member has it, it is best to test the entire family to see if they are at risk.”

Dr Conradie said because it was difficult to diagnose, the condition was often fatal in young people, especially athletes.

“It is one of the more common reasons for young people to die of heart failure,” Dr Conradie said.

Dr Conradie said it was possible for people to be unaware they were living with the disease.



Week of highs for Bundaberg Sugar

SWEET: The sugar crush is going well.

There is plenty of good news for Bundaberg sugar

Photo prizes on offer for National Water Week

Money up for grabs with water photos

Local Partners

Jason Dundas ready for X Factor debut

The X Factor host Jason Dundas.

NEW season of reality singing show features new host and judges.

What's on the small screen this week

The X Factor judges Adam Lambert, Iggy Azalea and Guy Sebastian.

A WAVE of new shows will launch after the footy finals.

Britney Spears smoked cannabis as a teenager

Britney Spears

Britney Spears experimented with cannabis when she was 17.

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual