CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 visits Welwyn Garden City

First free heart testing tour of England comes Welwyn Garden City
CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 aims to reduce number of heart deaths of apparently fit and healthy young people

Sir Ian Botham Attends the testmyheart tourHertfordshire, UK – A new national campaign aiming to reduce the number of undiagnosed heart conditions reached Welwyn Garden City on the 20th and 21st June 09. The CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 is the first free tour of its kind in England, and the screening in Welwyn Garden City was in memory of local resident Mathew Blease, who died suddenly from a heart defect, aged just 13 years.

The CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 has been made possible by the fundraising efforts of families whose lives have been affected by young sudden cardiac death; by health and well-being company Philips; and by the Gwyneth Forrester Trust.

Young people aged 14 – 35 who were interested in having their heart tested attended a specially built mobile unit on June 20-21, which was situated at Morrisons supermarket, Welwyn Garden City.

The event was also attended by CRY’s Honorary President Sir Ian Botham and his wife Kathy.

The mobile unit, donated by Philips, consists of three rooms where Philips’ ECG and ECHO equipment is used to test people.

Every week, 12 young people lose their lives to sudden cardiac death in the UK* – this is a statistic that CRY, Philips and the families hope to reduce. The national tour aims to test over 3,000 14 – 35 year old’s hearts, to identify heart conditions which could potentially prove fatal if left untreated.

A staggering 80 per cent of apparently healthy 14-35 year olds who die from SDS will have shown no previous sign of heart defects until it is too late. It is widely accepted that heart screening saves lives, and the CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 is likely to detect conditions in people that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Alison Cox, CEO, CRY, said: “The fundraising work of our CRY families and the involvement of Philips means that we can provide a free mobile testing service on this scale for the first time. Aiming to test over 3,000 young people, this is a major step towards our aim of reducing the number of Young Sudden Cardiac Deaths in the UK. It also allows us to draw attention to our new regional postcard. We hope that these initiatives will drive awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome and emphasise the importance of testing.”

Peter Maskell, Chairman, Philips UK, said: “With our heritage in healthcare, including ECG and ECHO machines, Philips is extremely proud to partner with CRY in an initiative aimed at reducing the number of Sudden Cardiac Deaths. 12 young sudden cardiac deaths a week is a staggering amount and highlights how much needs to be done to prevent such tragedies. Our hope is that this mobile unit will both identify existing conditions in people and raise awareness of the issue more broadly.”

Sir Ian Botham OBE, Honorary CRY President, said: “The sudden death of an apparently fit young person is impossible for surviving families and friends to make sense of. Speaking as a parent and a grandparent, I am delighted that the issue is being addressed in this way through this screening tour where young people will be given the opportunity to be tested so that conditions identified can be treated. That is why the work that CRY is doing with Philips to bring about this tour is so important.”