Free heart exams to stop 'sudden deaths' like Alex's

Donations made in memory of Alex Reid have funded the 200 free heart screenings.
Donations made in memory of Alex Reid have funded the 200 free heart screenings.
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A simple ECG test can save the lives of hundreds of young people who die every year with undetected heart problems that cause 'sudden cardiac death'.

The family of Sheffield High School student, Alex Reid, who tragically died in her sleep aged just 16, have joined a campaign to call for a national strategy to protect young people.

Alex's Mum, Heather Reid, a lecturer at the University of Nottingham, said: "Just over 4 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."

Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) have teamed up with Heather and her husband Dr John Reid to put on a cardiac screening for around 200 young people at Kiveton Park in October.

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 venue local to them by simply logging onto:

www.testmyheart.org.

An ECG (electrocardiogram) test is a simple way to identify the vast majority of abnormalities that can cause sudden deaths in young people.

The test is quick, non-invasive and painless, and the Chief Executive of CRY, Dr Steven Cox, believes it is 'essential' that anyone with a potentially fatal heart condition should know about it. He said: “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% of cases there are no signs or symptoms."

Alex died suddenly the night before sitting her final GCSE exam in 2012, and since then the Alex Reid Memorial fund has raised over £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. Therefore, this cause of death in young people is not rare.”