FRIENDS of a 29-year-old Oswaldtwistle man celebrated his life with a series of events to mark the first anniversary of his death.
Robin James Howarth, known as Rob, of Blackburn Road, was born with a defective heart valve which resulted in a heart attack when he was just four weeks old. He underwent a life-saving operation at five weeks and required further treatment throughout his life.
However, he never let his condition affect the way he lived and friends say he was always full of energy.
On 10 April last year he died of a heart attack at his girlfriend’s home in Bradford Street, Accrington, after waking up with erratic breathing.
To mark the poignant anniversary, eight of his friends held a series of events, raising a total of £1,250 for the British Heart Foundation.
Close friend Sara Thompson, 33, of Cliff Street, Rishton, organised a charity night, attended by 63 people, at the Massala Room in Foulridge, raising £700 for the charity.
Kelly Chapman, 34, of Richmond Road, Accrington, and Sam Haslop, 30, of Lord Street, Accrington, got a tattoo – a permanent tribute in memory of their friend.
Rick Chapman, 33, of Richmond Street, Accrington, Ryan Johnson, 30, of Rhyddings Street, Oswald-twistle, Peter Mooring, 33, of Slaidburn Drive, Accrington, Steven Mooring, 29, of Water Street, Accrington. and Craig Abbott, 27, of Appletree Way, Oswaldtwistle, all took the plunge and did a sponsored bungee jump at The Plough in Oswaldtwistle, Robin’s local.
Sara said: "We knew he had a heart condition but he was a very modest person. He didn’t want to do anything to change his lifestyle and let it take over.
"He didn’t want to speak about it because he didn’t want us to have a go at him for not taking care of himself.
"When he died it was a big shock to all of us. We have been quite emotional these last few weeks, but we didn’t want the anniversary of his death to be a sad occasion. We wanted to celebrate his life so we held the events in his memory."
A party was also thrown on 30 November to mark what would have been Robin’s 30th birthday, raising another £380 for the charity.