THE parents of a popular rugby player are aiming to raise the profile of a little-known condition which led to the death of their son.

Tom Parsons, 22, from West Heslerton, died while on holiday with friends on the Greek island of Zante in August 2016.

His parents, Nick and Sue, who set up the Tom Parsons Trust to support the local community, have only recently had confirmation that Tom suffered from myocarditis, which is an inflammation and damage of the heart muscle.

The disease usually affects otherwise healthy people and while there are various causes, it is usually caused by a virus and accounts for thousands of sudden deaths each year.

Sue said: “We had conformation only two weeks ago that Tom’s death was due to myocarditis. We will be doing fundraising for the Myocarditis Foundation as it is a very poorly understood illness, and need to raise its profile so it doesn’t happen to others.”

The Tom Parsons Trust has so far raised more than £10,000 and has now provided four defibrillators in the area, the latest at the Royal Oak in Malton and Tom’s former school, Norton College.

The others have been installed at West Heslerton Village Hall and the Derwent Arms in Norton.

Funds have been raised through various fundraising events, including a Stars in Your Eyes night at the Derwent Arms and the Perm Cup, an annual football match held in Malton.

Sue said they had wanted the defibrillators at key locations where they could be easily accessed when needed.

“These community defibrillators have been provided through the ambulance service for members of the public to use,” she said. “When someone dials for an ambulance they will be directed to where the nearest defibrillator is.

“Having access to a defibrillator quickly could help save lives.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in Tom’s Trust and everyone who supports us, especially Stuart and Drew from Switched Solutions who have kindly put the defibrillators up. The trust is a legacy to Tom and helps to keeps his memory alive.”