As part of the ongoing mission to raise awareness and to help prevent young sudden cardiac death (YSCD) for the 12th year running, CRY will be holding a weekend of specialist heart screening at Noble’s Hospital on the Isle of Man on 28th and 29th April where around 400 young people, aged between 14 and 35, will be tested.
These two days of screening coincide with the news that 7,000 young people have been tested on the Isle of Man, thanks to donations made in memory of Craig Lunt.
Craig – a well-respected, talented and popular young Manx footballer – tragically died in April 2005 from a condition known as Long QT syndrome. He was aged just 25. Long QT syndrome is a disorder of the electrical system of the heart and one of a range of conditions that cause unexplained sudden death in a young person.
Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation have worked in collaboration with CRY since 2007. As well as holding screenings, the Foundation also provides lifesaving defibrillator machines within Schools, Sports Clubs and offices across the Island and are now providing Public Access defibrillators Island wide.
Craig’s mum and founder of Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation, Paula Lunt says; “As a family, we are hoping that by funding our 12th year of screening – through Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation – we will continue to raise awareness and prevent another family from going through the same heartache and loss that we went through.”
Foundation Chairman, Paul Healey adds: “We are proud to be Regional Representatives for CRY and will continue to do all we can to achieve our goal of providing two annual cardiac screening programmes for the Isle of Man, brought in specifically to identify potentially-vulnerable young people. 7,000 tests on young people, who might be otherwise unaware of a hidden heart condition, is a huge achievement and a fitting testament to Craig’s memory.”
Over the past decade, other families from across the Isle of Man have also become loyal supporters, advocates and fundraisers. It is due to their tireless commitment that so many young people have now had the opportunity to be tested for potentially fatal heart conditions –most of whom will have received reassuring news. However, over 300 young people who have attended screenings funded by Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation have been referred for further investigations.
Chief Executive of CRY, Dr Steven Cox, says: “We began screening young people over 20 years ago and I am so proud that we are now testing around 27,000 young people, aged 14-35 annually– largely thanks to the fundraising efforts of families such as the Craig Heartstrong Foundation. But we still believe screening needs to be extended to all young people. Although screening will not identify all those at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, the incidence of young sudden cardiac death has been reduced by 90%.”