Sidmouth family fund 100 health screenings in memory of son Jonathan

PUBLISHED: 18:28 31 March 2017

Jonathan's friends Daniel Retter, Paul Broughton, Ben Morgan and Matt MacDonald are all signing up to be screened by CRY as part of the funding raised by Jon's parents Marion and Robert.

Jonathan's friends Daniel Retter, Paul Broughton, Ben Morgan and Matt MacDonald are all signing up to be screened by CRY as part of the funding raised by Jon's parents Marion and Robert.

Archant

A Sidmouth couple and their family have secured funding for 100 free health screenings for young people in memory of their son.

A memorial fund set up in tribute to Jonathan Hayman has helped to fund 100 screenings for young people 14 to 35.A memorial fund set up in tribute to Jonathan Hayman has helped to fund 100 screenings for young people 14 to 35.

A Sidmouth couple and their family have secured funding for 100 free health screenings for young people in memory of their son.

Marion and Robert Hayman have been raising awareness and cash for the heart charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) after their son, Jon, 27, died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome in 2013.

The couple set up the Jon Hayman Memorial Fund in tribute to him and announced this week CRY would be holding its first screening clinic in the town.

The family’s donation has funded 100 appointments for young people aged between 14 and 35 at Sidmouth College on June 3.

Since the scheme’s launch on Tuesday, nearly all the places have been snapped up.

Mrs Hayman said: “Jonathan enjoyed life and lived every day to the full. He had so much vitality and made every day count. He was a hard worker, but played hard as well.

“Until Jonathan’s death, we had never heard of CRY, never heard of sudden death syndrome or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. We had no idea there was anything wrong with Jon - he had always been so active. The only symptoms Jon showed before he died were flu–like symptoms. We now know this can be typical of a problem. The charity (CRY) has been an important source of support - offering bereavement counselling, advice on medical issues and helping with fundraising queries. Thanks to CRY’s advice, my husband, daughter and myself have all had electrocardiograms and echocardiograms and this has ruled out that Jon’s problem was genetic. However, we will be monitoring our grandchildren very closely.

“I am delighted that we are now able to offer a screening in Sidmouth, due to funds from the Jon Hayman Memorial Fund. If Jon had had the opportunity of being screened, he may still have been with us today.”

Daniel Retter, a friend of Jon’s, added: “It seems crazy to think that such a young, fit and healthy person can lose their life so early through sudden cardiac death.This is an excellent opportunity for people to be screened to avoid such tragedy as we experienced. Screening is vital in the diagnosis of heart defects and for the research and development for the future.”

CRY will be offering electrocardiograms in June and says the quick and easy screening could save the lives of 12 apparently healthy young people each week from undiagnosed heart conditions.

Dr Steven Cox, CRY’s director of screening, said: “The death of a young person is heartbreaking and 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 if they continue to participate in sport or take particular medication for example. In 80 per cent of cases, there are no signs or symptoms which is why cardiac screening is so important.

“At CRY, we 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 per cent.”

To book an appointment at this screening event or for more information, go to www.testmyheart.org


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