Highlights the Deaths of 12 People Each Week
Press Release - 20th November 2008
Today in Belfast, Cardiac Risk in the Young launched its
Northern Ireland postcard campaign. The symbolic postcard
highlights the deaths of 12 young people from Northern Ireland
of undiagnosed fatal heart conditions most of which are genetic.
This is the latest leg in CRY's campaign promoting the value of
screening across Northern Ireland and the UK.
launches of the
CRY '12 a week'
across Northern Ireland and the UK twelve people 35 and under years of
age die from undiagnosed heart conditions. The figure represents a 50%
increase on previous estimates. That is the stark message from Cardiac
Risk in the Young.
postcard campaign encourages people to write to their local MLA to raise
awareness of the importance of cardiac screening.
CRY believes that such
tragic loss of life at an early age could be avoided if more young
people underwent screening as it is believed that 80% of young people
that die suddenly do not have prior symptoms and the first symptom is
The only way to change the current statistics is by
McCall's son John died suddenly in 2004 whilst playing rugby for the
Ireland Under-19 team. Ian (left) said:
"We would encourage as many people as possible to get
screened. This doesn't just affect people involved in sport, anyone can
have an undiagnosed heart condition and be totally unaware of it.
17th March 2004 John captained Royal School Armagh to victory in the
final of the Ulster Schools Cup. On 27 March he died on the rugby field
in Durban. He had not shown any symptoms that he was unwell."
"The young people that die are all in the prime of their
lives with much still to offer society. It is very difficult for any
family to try deal with a sudden death. One way to avoid this tragic
situation is to get screened or have your children screened."
Chief Executive of CRY (right) says: "The death of a young person has a
catastrophic effect on their family and all who loved them, particularly
if there is the possibility that the death was avoidable and caused by a
condition that could have been detected.
"We know that screening saves lives. CRY is committed to
raising awareness of the value of cardiac screening, particularly for
young people involved in sport at grassroots level.
"Sport does not cause the problem but it can exacerbate
an existing undiagnosed condition and young people are the high risk
These conditions are all treatable but in most cases the only
way to find out who is at risk and needing treatment is by screening.
"The support of local politicians is vital in the battle
to save young lives. They have an invaluable role to play in raising the
profile of screening in Stormont and with their support it could become
accessible to every family in Northern Ireland.
"Sudden death syndrome strikes down hundreds of young
people across the UK each year. These deaths are indiscriminate. Many
of those who die are involved in sporting activities and all are in the
prime of their lives. Their future is ahead of them with so much to
offer their families and society when they are so cruelly taken."
screening programme is available for the 14 – 35 age group at the CRY
Screening Clinc; the University of Ulster at Jordanstown.
here for more photos from the launch
further information or to request an interview with Alison Cox or
Ian McCall, contact Joe Passmore on 07725 552 540
holds screening clinics at the UU Clinic at the University of
Ulster's Jordanstown campus.
contact the clinic:
www.uuclinic.ulster.ac.uk 028 9036 8098
Media coverage of this launch