Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation was set up by the Lunt family in memory of their 25 year old son, Craig, a talented and popular young Manx footballer who tragically died in April 2005. His death was due to a previously undiagnosed heart defect known as Long QT syndrome.
Long QT syndrome is a disorder of the electrical system of the heart and one of a range of conditions that cause unexplained sudden death in a young person. Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is one of the most common causes of sudden death in children, adolescents and young adults; in most cases, there will have been no signs or symptoms, which is why proactive screening is vitally important.
An ECG (electrocardiogram) test – which is a quick and non-invasive heart screening – is a simple way to identify the vast majority of abnormalities that can cause SCD in young people.
In order to detect possible heart defects and thus help to prevent SCD, Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation has teamed up with a UK charity called Cardiac Risk in the Young to bring the relevant equipment and qualified staff to the Island and offer free heart screening to local people aged between 14 and 35. Although screening will not identify all those at risk, the incidence of SCD may be significally reduced if symptoms are detected early on; since 2007, over 8,500 people have been screened and more than 300 young people have been referred for further investigations.
The charity also raises awareness about SCD and has been providing defibrillator machines within schools, sports clubs and offices across the Island; over 300 defibrillators are now available to the public.
Paul Howland, Director at Abacus Trust Company, commented on the donation: “The positive impact that Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation has within the community is invaluable. Without their proactive work and awareness initiatives, many Isle of Man residents would not be aware of the different types of heart conditions that exist, or have the opportunity to be screened.
We are delighted to have been able to support Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation by offering help for their ongoing hard work, which relies on donations and fundraising. By giving wholehearted support to such a worthwhile charity, we can look forward to a fit and healthy future for our youth.”
In these difficult times, it has been proving hard for charities to raise sufficient funds and this may ultimately undermine charities’ ability to support communities and individuals who rely on them. The only thing we all can do is to continue to donate.
Please keep supporting Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation by donating or fundraising for them – https://www.justgiving.com/craigsheartstrongfoundation
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