September 17 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
A mother who lost her 15-year-old daughter when she died from a rare heart defect has help provide life-saving tests for 100 people.
The first day of heart screening at Stowmarket High School is taking place today thanks to the work of Melanie Webster and her family.
Daughter, Lily Webster, who was a student at the school, died in 2012 after collapsing following a trampolining class.
Since then the family, along with friends and fellow fundraisiers, have supported the charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), with the total so far standing at around £17,000.
The second day’s testing takes place tomorrow with a further 100 people due to be screened.
“The days were booked up really fast and we could not fit everyone in who wanted to do it, which is really positive,” Mrs Webster said.
“It’s a big commitment but we feel passionately about it. At the moment there is a demand and so we will continue but if we had trouble filling the places then perhaps we would use our energy elsewhere.”
Mrs Webster and CRY are calling on the government to make electrocardiograms (ECGs) mandatory for all young people.
She said: “The aim would be for high school aged pupils to be screened and for it to become part of the health programme for young people. I do not know in hindsight whether it would have saved Lily, we will never know the answer, but certainly the research indicates there would have been an opportunity to have changed the outcome.”
Dr Aneil Malhotra, cardiologist and research fellow with CRY is leading the screening. He said research shows that at least 12 young people die suddenly from undiagnosed heart conditions each week.
A fundraising day at Stowmarket Golf Club for CRY will take place on July 25.