CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 aims to reduce number of heart deaths of apparently fit and healthy young people
A new national campaign aiming to reduce the number of undiagnosed heart conditions will visit 12 destinations in England throughout May and June. The CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 is the first free tour of its kind in England and has been made possible by charity CRY, and health and well-being company Philips, through the fundraising efforts of families whose lives have been affected by Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) or Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD), and the Gwyneth Forrester Trust. The tour aims to test over 3,000 14-35 year olds hearts to identify heart conditions which could potentially prove fatal if left untreated. To book a free appointment at one of the 12 tour locations simply go to www.testmyheart.org
Over nearly two months the tour will visit Durham, Newcastle, Liverpool (Ormskirk), Manchester (Manchester University), Sheffield, Manchester (Atherton), Leeds, Preston, Nottingham, London (Sidcup), Welwyn Garden City, finishing in Brentford, London on 28 June.
Many events on the tour will be held in memory of a young person who lost their life. Every week, 12 young people lose their lives to sudden cardiac death in the UK* – this is a statistic that CRY, Philips and families hope to reduce. A staggering 80 per cent of apparently healthy 14-35 year olds who die from SDS will have shown no previous sign of heart defects until it is too late. It is widely accepted that testing saves lives, and the CRY Philips Test My Heart Tour 09 is likely to detect conditions in people that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
The mobile unit, donated by Philips, consists of three rooms where Philips' ECG and ECHO equipment will be used to test people. A team of doctors and cardiologists will be present at all locations throughout the tour.
Sir Ian Botham OBE, Honorary CRY President, said: "The sudden death of an apparently fit young person is impossible for surviving families and friends to make sense of. Speaking as a parent and a grandparent, I am delighted that the issue is being addressed in this way through this screening tour where young people will be given the opportunity to be tested so that conditions identified can be treated. That is why the work that CRY is doing with Philips to bring about this tour is so important."
Alison Cox, CEO, CRY, said: "The fundraising work of our CRY families and the involvement of Philips means that we can provide a free mobile testing service on this scale for the first time. Aiming to test over 3,000 young people, this is a major step towards our aim of reducing the number of Young Sudden Cardiac Deaths in the UK. It also allows us to draw attention to our new regional postcard. We hope that these initiatives will drive awareness of Sudden Death Syndrome and emphasise the importance of testing."
Peter Maskell, Chairman, Philips UK, said: "With our heritage in healthcare, including ECG and ECHO machines, Philips is extremely proud to partner with CRY in an initiative aimed at reducing the number of Sudden Cardiac Deaths. 12 young sudden cardiac deaths a week is a staggering amount and highlights how much needs to be done to prevent such tragedies. Our hope is that this mobile unit will both identify existing conditions in people and raise awareness of the issue more broadly."
Testing should take no longer than 30 minutes and will take place at weekends in public places and weekdays at universities. For further information about details of testing locations and to book free appointments go to www.testmyheart.org.