Parachute jump to raise cardiac awareness

A gym instructor has volunteered to plunge thousands of feet through the air to help a charity that aims to prevent young people dying suddenly from heart problems.

Father-of-three Chris Nichols, who works at Fitness 2000, Pickering, is preparing to tackle a parachute jump to raise cash for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

Mr Nichols found out about the charity from Marjorie and Allan Scott, the parents of Ryedale teenager Mike Scott, who died unexpectedly from a heart defect, aged 17.

York youngsters David Harry, 15, of New Earswick, and Jamie Bucknell, 14, of Strensall, died suddenly, in October 2002 and in November 2001 respectively, from undetected heart defects.

Since their son’s death in 1996, Mike’s parents have backed CRY in its mission to raise awareness about young people dying from cardiac abnormalities and campaign for a national screening programme.

The couple, from Beadlam, near Helmsley, have helped promote a postcard campaign launched to lobby local MPs to support the Cardiac Risk in the Young (Screening) Bill, and join the CRY All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to keep up pressure in the House of Commons.

The postcards picture eight young victims, highlighting the fact that at least eight young people a week die suddenly from undetected heart conditions.

Mike Scott, who died on December 28 1996, is pictured on the version of the postcard from the north.

“He died very suddenly. He was very fit and healthy – there was nothing wrong with him. He just went off to work one day and collapsed while playing basketball and died. He had only fainted once, three weeks to the day before he died. The shock was immense,” said Mrs Scott. Keen sportsman Mike was studying for his A-levels at Lady Lumley’s School, Pickering, and had a part-time job at a leisure centre, when he died.

After seeing one of the postcards, Mr Nicholls decided to do a parachute jump in Bridlington on August 7 to raise cash.

Sponsors can phone Chris on 01751 433466, Kerys on 01751 477300, or Mrs Scott on 01439 771293.