High uptake for cardiac screening at Sidmouth College

Robert Pring from CRY, Marion Hayman and college principal Sarah Parsons. Picture: Charlotte Pollent

Robert Pring from CRY, Marion Hayman and college principal Sarah Parsons. Picture: Charlotte Pollentine - Credit: Archant

Eighty Sidmouth College students have been screened for potential heart problems, thanks to the work of a local woman who lost her 27-year-old son to a cardiac arrest.

Year 10 student Finn O'Brien. Picture: Charlotte Pollentine

Year 10 student Finn O'Brien. Picture: Charlotte Pollentine - Credit: Archant

Marion and Robert Hayman set up the Jon Hayman Memorial Fund after their son Jon died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome in 2013.

The money they raise goes to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, or CRY.

CRY raises awareness of sudden cardiac deaths among young people and provides free ECG screenings to people aged 14 to 35.

Mrs Hayman has previously arranged two screenings in Sidmouth, including one held at the college, but this was the first for the college's own students.

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Year 10 pupil Finn O'Brien was among those who had the ECG, administered by a nurse from CRY.

"It was good, it was relaxing actually," she said.

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"It was quite nice. I was quite nervous beforehand but she was keeping my mind off the topic, we were just talking about school and different things so it was all right."

The college principal Sarah Parsons said: "I am really happy that the college was able to support the CRY screening which took place today.

"By providing a space within the college for this to happen has meant that a large number of our students have been screened.

"I recognise the important role that the college has to play within the community, supporting all young people, and by working closely with Marion, we have been able to offer screenings not only to our students, but to the wider community of Sidmouth which is fantastic and potentially life-saving."

The Jon Hayman Memorial Fund received a £326 boost earlier this month after being chosen by Waitrose customers to benefit from the supermarket's community fund.

Mrs Hayman said the vote, along with the high uptake for screening at the college, made her feel that local people are becoming more aware of the issue.

"Had maybe this not happened to my son, and me raising awareness, that box might not have been so full, because people wouldn't know what it was all about," she said.

"But I think the local community do now, and that's good."

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