JUST hours after her daughter Emma collapsed and died of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after stepping off a long-haul flight from Australia at Heathrow Airport, Ruth Christoffersen made a vow to herself.

Through the raw pain and emotion, Mrs Christoffersen decided she would let the world know of the risks associated with DVT and air travel.

In the years that followed Emma’s death, aged just 28, on September 30 2000, the campaign by Mrs Christoffersen, husband John and the families of other victims to raise awareness of the dangers - and to get airlines to acknowledge and act on them - made headlines the world over.

There was also a court case - ultimately unsuccessful - in which victims' relatives and survivors of DVT accused airlines of ignoring medical advice that could have saved lives.

The campaign did save lives however. Mrs Christoffersen knows of air travellers who, as a result of increased awareness of DVT, checked out leg and other problems they were having. Some were told they would have died had they not taken action.

Emma Christoffersen would have been 47 years old today, and next month marks the 19th anniversary of her premature death.

And Mrs Christoffersen is worried. Worried that with so much time having passed since her daughter’s case helped raise awareness, a new generation of air travellers may not be equipped with knowledge of the risks of DVT.

South Wales Argus:

MEMORIAL: Ruth Christoffersen on the bench in Underwood, Newport, installed in 2010 to mark the 10th anniversary of daughter Emma's death

It has prompted the 72-year-old, who lives in Underwood, Newport, to take to Facebook to tell Emma’s story anew and to once more raise the profile of DVT and air travel. In just four days it has reached countries as far afield as Germany and Australia.

“I was going to leave it until next year (the 20th anniversary of Emma’s death) but it’s too important to wait,” she said.

“Over the last few weeks, people have been talking about holidays. I’ve asked people if they fly, and if they wear flight socks (compression wear which can reduce the risk of DVT).

“One lady I asked didn’t know what I was talking about, and that isn’t the only time that has happened.”

South Wales Argus:

DOWN UNDER: Emma Christoffersen in Australia shortly before she died

In her Facebook post, Mrs Christoffersen recalls being told that staff at the hospital where Emma was taken saw many cases of DVT after flying.

“The staff were brilliant, I couldn’t fault them, but it was happening all the time,” said Mrs Christoffersen.

“With the court case, we didn’t want their money. We just wanted the airlines to admit they had a problem (with DVT), but it would have cost them too much.

“But they knew in the 1950s that there was a DVT risk in air travel.

South Wales Argus:

RAISING AWARENESS: Ruth Christoffersen

“I’m told there have been more than 200 replies to my Facebook story, and I’m pleased Emma’s story is being read again.

“People say well done when I talk about it. and they mean well, but I wish I didn’t have to do it.

“Now this has gone out, people will talk about it. It's a generation on now, and if I can help save another life it will have been worth it.

“I know the campaign has saved lives, and knowing that brings a measure of comfort.”