As part of the ongoing mission to raise awareness and to help prevent young sudden cardiac death [YSCD] for the 12th year running, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) will be holding a weekend of specialist heart screening at Noble’s Hospital, Strang Isle of Man (IM4 4RJ) on 28th and 29th April where around 400 young people, aged between 14 and 35, will be tested.
These two days of screening (part of CRY’s unique cardiac screening programme) 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.
Later this year (8 & 9 September) the CRY team will also return for a further two days of screening.
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 unware 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 Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation by have been referred for further investigations.
Every week, at least 12 young (35 and under) apparently fit and healthy people die from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Many – but not all – of these young people will have been involved in sport at the time of their death. Sport and physical activity does not cause sudden cardiac death itself (in fact, research carried out by CRY shows that a large number of these deaths will also occur when a young person is at rest or even sleeping) but it can significantly exacerbate an existing, undiagnosed condition.
An ECG (electrocardiogram) test – the internationally recognised, gold-standard diagnostic test, that underpins CRY’s screening programme – is a simple way to identify the vast majority of abnormalities that can cause sudden deaths in young people. The test is quick, non-invasive and, if necessary, a further echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart) can be taken on the same day to provide further clarity or reassurance.
Chief Executive of CRY, Dr Steven Cox, says: “The death of a young person is devastating for any family. It is therefore essential that anyone with a potentially fatal heart condition knows about it. Without this knowledge and, if necessary, appropriate treatment, they could be putting their lives at risk as in 80% of cases there are no signs or symptoms.”
Dr Cox adds: “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%.”
CRY’s screening programme is overseen by Professor Sanjay Sharma, Professor of Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and Sports Cardiology at St George’s Hospital London and the Medical Director of the Virgin London Marathon. Professor Sharma makes no charge for supervising the CRY screening programme and due to this support, CRY is able to significantly subsidise the programme – privately, these tests could cost hundreds of pounds.
Find more information about CRY @ www.c-r-y.org.uk Any person between the age of 14 and 35 can register for a free cardiac screening at www.testmyheart.org
Find out more information about Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation @ www.craigsheartstrongfoundation.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/craigsheartstrongfoundation/about/
1 The screening in memory of Craig Lunt will take place at Noble’s Hospital, Strang Isle of Man IM4 4RJ on 28th & 29th April 2018. It is now fully booked but journalists are welcome to attend by prior arrangement – please call: THE CRY PRESS OFFICE: KATIE COOMBS ON 020 7112 4905: firstname.lastname@example.org
• CRY is a charity founded in May 1995 to raise awareness of Cardiac Risk in the Young – Sudden Cardiac Death, Sudden Death Syndrome (SADS)
• CRY offers support to those who have suffered a loss through a network of affected families & Counselling
• CRY funds the CRY Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Clinic and the CRY Centre for Sports Cardiology at St George’s Hospital London and a word renowned research programme
• CRY funds the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology, a fast-track expert cardiac pathology service for bereaved families, also based at St George’s Hospital. www.cry-ccp.org.uk
• CRY’s myheart network offers help, support and information to people who are coping with a diagnosis of an inherited or congenital heart condition