Youngsters encouraged to sign up to free heart screening in Sidmouth
PUBLISHED: 06:55 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:31 16 March 2018
Up to 100 young people will be able to book in for a free heart screening this May, thanks to fundraising by a Sidmouth family.
Marion and Robert Hayman have been raising awareness and cash for the heart charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) after their son, Jon, died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome in 2013.
The couple started the Jon Hayman Memorial Fund in tribute to the 27-year-old and last year funded 100 free screenings for young people aged 14 to 35.
Following the success of the event, the family has funded another 100 appointments at Sidmouth Sailing Club on Tuesday, May 22.
Mrs Hayman said the charity had been an important source of support.
She said: “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.
“I am delighted that we are now able to offer a second screening in Sidmouth, due to funds from the Jon Hayman Memorial Fund.
“If Jon had the opportunity of being screened, he may still have been with us today.”
Daniel Retter, a friend of Jon’s, added: “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.”
On May 22, youngsters visiting the clinic will take an electrocardiogram – which the charity says can save the lives of 12 apparently healthy young people each week from previously 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.
“At CRY, we believe screening needs to be extended to all young people.”
To book an appointment visit www.testmyheart.org and find the Sidmouth appointment.