This weekend, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) will
host a second screening clinic on the North Coast.
Local campaigner, John Lundy has been a leading
advocate of screening, since the death of his son Aaron back in 1999.
Aaron, a keen golfer and footballer, died at the
age of 19 from a treatable condition. We spoke to John ahead of this
weekend's clinic, and he was keen to highlight the importance of screening
"We've worked closely with CRY in the UK to
provide screenings across Northern Ireland," he said.
"We want to make a screening as widely available
as we can, to as many people as possible. It's sad to say, buy the
most interest in screening comes after someone dies from a cardiac condition
and it is reported in the media.
"Unfortunately that is the sad situation, but I
have made it my goal to make as many young people aware of the screening.
"The fact of the matter for me and my family is
that my son Aaron had a treatable condition. The screening is a simple
procedure which would have saved his life and that is something that is
constantly with me."
John went on to appeal to parents, sports coaches
and teachers to encourage young people to have the simple ECG test done.
"The screening identifies many of the problems in
the heart, and because we have a cardiologist present we can carry out a
further echocardiogram," explained John.
"From there the cardiologist is able to discuss
with the individual what the next steps are in terms on medical treatment,
should there be a problem."
John doesn't want other parents to go through what
he and his family have had to cope with, he said.
"It is very hard for young people to face up to
the realisation that they may have a serious condition.
"But surely it is better to know about it and get
it diagnosed and treated than ignore it. Often the first symptom is
sudden death. That leaves a catastrophic situation behind.
Parents, brothers, sisters, friends, husbands and wives - you name it, it
can almost destroy a family.
"The grief never really leaves them; they remember
the person for the rest of their lives. We have examples in CRY of
families losing perhaps two children. That is an unimaginable loss to
John and other CRY representatives in the
Coleraine area are always working hard to highlight the work of the charity
and the importance of heart screening."
We are lucky here in the Coleraine area, we have a
lot of people that raise money for CRY and that is fantastic," said John.
"It is a great tribute to the memory of Aaron that
his friends, and indeed people that never met him, do these things in his
"However, there are still clubs and team locally
and school children that have yet to be screened. We provided a
screening service last year and invited local schools in to get their pupils
"We would appeal to parents, coaches and teachers
to encourage young people aged 14 to 35 to get screened.
"My experience with my son Aaron and all the great
memories I have of him would make me give people just one simple message -
Go Get Screened," concluded John.
A CRY screening clinic will be held this Saturday
and Sunday, June 4 and 5 at UUC.
Screening is open to young people aged between 14
During the screening a CRY cardiologist is in
attendance to read the ECG and Echocardiogram, if an Echo is required.
If any further medical referral is needed, the
Cardiologist is on hand to offer expert advice.
There are still places left, to book a slot log
http://www.c-r-y.org.u,/ecg.htm, the cost is £35.