Hundreds of people gathered in Nottingham this weekend to pay tribute to a teenage footballer who collapsed and later died following a cardiac arrest during a football match.
Samuel Akwasi, who was 13-years-old, died in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest whilst playing for his club FC Cavaliers under-13s earlier this month.
His coach, Everton Richards, said Sam will be hugely missed.
“I’m going to miss him, he’s one of the leaders of the team,” he says.
“When he’s not on the pitch you look around and think ‘where’s Sam?’ and it’s going to be like that when we start back”
“His teammates don’t realise it now but they’re going to be looking around in defence and they’re not going to see this big commanding defender there” he adds.
How common are cardiac arrests in young people?
According to Cardiac Risk in the Young, every week in the UK, around 12 young people (under the age of 35) die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.
80% of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms.
In an interview with ITV News Central Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), explained why it is so important to identify these conditions early through screenings.
Dr Cox said: “Tragically these conditions are not life style related, we are born with them.
“So often it might be the fittest and healthiest person who suffers a cardiac arrest. This is why it is so unnerving to people.”
Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of Cardiac Risk in the Young explains what symptoms people can look out for
What are signs of an undiagnosed heart condition?
According to Dr Cox:
- Exercise related chest pain
- Passing out during exercise
- Family history of young sudden death
- Family history of heart problems
CRY charity perform screenings which are funded by families who have been affected by a young sudden cardiac arrest and are able to diagnose most cardiac abnormalities.
Any person who wants to be screened can go to the CRY website to book a screening. For more information click here