A PORTSTEWART father is urging local parents not to be another statistic.
John Lundy’s son Aaron, a talented golfer and footballer, died back in 1999, from a preventable heart condition called Wolfe Parkinson White Syndrome. Since then John and his family, along with Aaron’s friends have been raising awareness of undiagnosed heart conditions in young people through their work with the CRY charity.
At the weekend, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) hosted a screening clinic at the University of Ulster, for local school pupils.
Speaking after the first ever clinic to be held in Coleraine, John told The Times: “Every week in the United Kingdom, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people die from an undiagnosed heart condition.
“Sadly I am part of that statistic, with the loss of my son Aaron.
“It really saddens me that young people here in Northern Ireland are still dying from undiagnosed heart conditions.”
At the weekend 170 young people from local schools were screened by CRY’s dedicated medical team.
The team flew in from London to carry out the screening, which was funded by people from the Triangle area through their support for CRY.
The screening process involves a simple ECG examination which looks at the pathways around the heart. The details gathered from the test are evaluated by a cardiologist and will determine whether or not there is an underlying heart condition.
Pupils from five local schools took part - Coleraine High School, Loreto College, North Coast Integrated, Dominican College and St Joseph’s. Pupils from Limavady Grammar and High Schools also took part.
John added: “This was the first official CRY screening clinic in Coleraine, and we are really pleased with the turnout.
“Myself and Garry [McGrotty] were getting phone calls all weekend to see if there were any spaces left.
“There really is an over demand for these clinics at the minute, we could fill a screening clinic every fortnight, but unfortunately there is only a certain number of tests that can be carried out in a weekend.”
John revealed that two further clinics will be held in Coleraine later this year. Details and booking information will be advertised at a later date on the websites www.c-r-y.org.uk or at www.aaronlundy.com.