The family of a Sheffield student who died in her sleep aged just 16 have teamed up with charity Cardiac Risk in the Young to provide free heart tests for South Yorkshire children.
The mum of Sheffield High School pupil Alex Reid and her husband Dr John Reid have funded a cardiac screening for around 200 young people at Kiveton Park in October.
Heather Reid, a university lecturer, said: “Just over four years ago, my extremely fit and seemingly healthy daughter Alex died in her sleep.”
“The heartache we feel from losing such a vibrant, happy young person, who had so much to offer does not diminish.”
Alex died suddenly the night before sitting her final GCSE exam in 2012 from a condition known as ‘sudden cardiac death’. Since then the Alex Reid Memorial fund has raised £70,000.
Mrs Reid said: “Since Alex died at least 2500 young adults in the UK will have also lost their lives from an undiagnosed heart condition, out of the blue, and this figure is conservative. That equates to eight times the Rio Team GB and six full jumbo jets.
“Therefore, this cause of death in young people is not rare.”
“Some of the £70,000 is also going towards research and general awareness raising of young sudden cardiac death, as well screening. But none of this would be possible without the generosity of our friends, family and the local community.”
A simple ECG test can save the lives of hundreds of young people every year.
Although this screening is now fully booked, anyone aged between the age of 14 and 35 can register to have a free cardiac screening at a local venue local by logging on to www.testmyheart.org.
An ECG test is an easy way to identify the vast majority of abnormalities that can cause sudden deaths in young people.
The test is quick, non-invasive and painless.
CRY chief executive Dr Steven Cox believes it is ‘essential’ that anyone with a potentially fatal heart condition should know about it.
“The death of a young person is utterly devastating.
“Without this knowledge and, if necessary, appropriate treatment, they could be putting their lives at risk as in 80 per cent of cases there are no signs or symptoms.”