Two hundred local young people have received free cardiac screening at Cardiff Met from the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
The initiative was made possible by a donation of £14,000 from Councillor Doug Williams following his time as Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf – funding these two days and leaving additional money for further screening in Wales.
Since 2004, CRY has carried out 50 screening sessions across Wales, testing around 4,500 young people for previously undiagnosed heart conditions.
Every week, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people aged 35 and under lose their lives to sudden cardiac death in the UK. 80% of these people will have shown no previous sign of heart defects until it is too late – which is why CRY believes screening is vitally important. Indeed, the charity now tests around 27,000 young people each year.
Chief Executive of CRY, Dr. Steve Cox, says; “CRY’s latest visit to South Wales not only marks an exciting milestone in terms of the numbers of young people we have screened to date, but it also highlights an important opportunity to establish a more permanent presence in Wales and offering regular screenings for students, young athletes and the wider community.”
Welsh Netball Captain and Senior Lecturer at Cardiff Met, Suzy Drane took part in the screening. She said: “Firstly, I’d like to thank CRY for providing the opportunity to get my heart screened. Every week, 12 young people die of sudden cardiac death in the UK, and the work CRY do in providing screening for free to members of the public is vital if we are to being this number down. The screening was quick and painless, and gives me great peace of mind to carry on with my sporting endeavors for Wales.”
Dr Mike Stembridge is a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology at Cardiff Met and has been instrumental in bringing the screening to the university. He adds; “At Cardiff Met, we’re committed to encouraging the safe participation in sport and physical activity for everyone, ranging from our elite athletes to the local community clubs. We’re excited to be working with CRY to establish a Centre for Cardiac Screening in Wales, with the aim of reducing the frequency of sudden cardiac death in young people.”
Former Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Councillor Doug Williams said: “I had an amazing year as first citizen of our County Borough and was overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people, who helped make our Mayor’s Charity Appeal such a resounding success. The Cardiac Risk in the Young charity is a subject close to my heart and I am delighted to see that our donation is being put to such good use.”
To read this story in Welsh, click here.