Charity in Focus: Cardiac Risk in the Young

Published: Thursday 19th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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This week’s Charity in Focus is Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

In 2011, the Fell family of Hornsea were devastated by the sudden loss of their 15-year-old son, Josh. He died whilst playing football of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS). Since then, the young boys’ parents, Rich and Donna, and his sister, Jasmine, have focused their energy into creating a lasting legacy for Josh, raising over £130,000 for CRY.

This has meant that over 1,200 young people in the local area have received free screen tests from the organisation.

“CRY was set up in 1995 and responds to the often unknown, but nonetheless frightening, figures that 12 young people (aged 35 and under) per week die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition,” Jo Hudson of the CRY Press Office explains.

“Increasingly, we see this issue reported in the news, among athletes, rugby players, football stars and other sportspeople. Individuals at the peak of fitness, dying from a heart condition that was previously undetectable. However, a vast number of deaths also happen at home, at rest, to young adults who aren’t necessarily athletes.”

CRY screens around 24,000 young people per year for free thanks to the terrific fundraising of families and organisations.

“We have a huge screening programme and work with schools, sports clubs and communities to screen as many young people aged 14-35 as we can. It’s a simple, painless ECG test, which measures the electrical activity of your heart to show whether or not it is working normally. If there are any issues detected, you go straight through to have an echocardiogram and, if necessary, you will be referred to a hospital for follow-up tests.”

One in every 300 will be identified with a potentially life-threatening condition. This form of cardiac screening has been proven to work extremely effectively, although it won’t identify all young people at risk. In Italy, it is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport to undergo screening. This has resulted in a reduction in the incidence of young sudden cardiac death by an unbelievable 90%.

“CRY also has a huge research programme based at St. George’s Hospital in South London,” Jo tells us. “We provide a unique bereavement support service that is there for hundreds of families each year who lose loved ones to SADS.”

You can support CRY by organising your own fundraising event or by distributing their educational posters and leaflets. CRY Raising Awareness Week runs from Saturday 18 November to Sunday 26 November, so it’s the perfect time to start planning your event or activity.

Meanwhile, if you have concerns for yourself, a friend or a family member, you can find more information on their website. You can book your free screening at testmyheart.org.

Enjoy more Hull and East Yorkshire news on HEY Today

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Published: Thursday 19th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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