Young men and women are being urged to undergo a free screening to check for undiagnosed heart conditions in Barnstaple next month.
Charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) will be holding a screening weekend at Pilton Community College on March 10 and 11 for people from the ages of 14-35 years old.
The event has been made possible thanks to the efforts of Brenda Luckett, who has been fundraising for the charity since her son Martyn died of an undiagnosed heart condition in 2005.
“We would like to help as many families as possible, so they don’t have to go through the heartache we have,” said Brenda.
She added: “July 11, 2005 was the worst day of our lives - how your whole world can change in a flick of a switch.
“We had just a phone call from a hospital in Swindon, where Martyn had been staying in the area for the last few months with his sister Charlotte.
“He had suddenly passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of just 19.
“How do you deal with these things? You just have to live with something that has suddenly changed your life.
“We were in contact with CRY who told us about the screenings so we decided to set up a Memorial Fund in Martyn’s name, where we raise money to fund the screenings.”
An estimated 12 people under the age of 35 lose their lives to sudden cardiac death each week in the UK. 80 per cent of these have shown no previous signs of heart defects.
The screening involves an ECG test, a simple way to identify the majority of abnormalities that can cause sudden deaths in young people.
It’s a quick and non-invasive test and, if necessary, a further Echocardiogram can be taken on the same day for clarity.
CRY chief executive, Dr Stephen Cox, said: “I would like to say an enormous ‘thank you’ to everyone involved with the Martyn Luckett Memorial Fund for supporting our screening programme and helping us to make expert cardiac testing more accessible to young people both in North Devon and throughout the UK.”
To register for a free cardiac screening, visit www.testmyheart.org.uk