Saving lives in Martyn’s memory

Joseph Bulmer

Young people urged to attend free cardiac screening event.

YOUNG men and women are being urged to undergo a free screening to check for undiagnosed heart conditions in Barnstaple later this month.

Special cardiac screenings are being held at Petroc during the weekend February 25 and 26 in memory of Martyn Luckett.

Martyn, 19, from Hartland, died suddenly of myocarditis nearly seven years ago.

In the last three years, more than 300 people have been screened at previous events held in his memory, with some heart abnormalities detected.

Martyn’s mother Brenda said: “He was a fit healthy young man and keen motorcycle trials rider, representing the South West Centre on many occasions.

“We were very proud of him and this changed our lives completely and we have raised �30,000 in the last six years for other people to be tested.” His sister Charlotte added: “It is still hard to comprehend that a young, fit and healthy 19-year-old could just drop down and die suddenly.

“We have raised funds in memory of Martyn and therefore the screening is free to anyone aged of 14-35.

“It is a pain free, non-invasive test and could save a life,” she added.

Cardiac screenings usually cost �35 per person but donations to charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) are funding the appointments at Petroc.

A spokesperson for the charity said that a simple and quick ECG (electrocardiogram) test could save the lives of around 12 healthy young people who die each week in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions.

Dr Steven Cox, CRY’s director of screening said: “We would encourage all families to have their children screened for any underlying heart conditions.

“Minor cardiac abnormalities will be identified in one per cent of people; although not life threatening they will have a long term impact if not identified. I would encourage people to get in touch with the CRY and arrange to be screened.

“It is essential that anyone with a condition knows about it. If they continue to participate in sport or take particular medication for example they could be putting their lives at risk. They may not show any symptoms or warning signs.”

To book an appointment or for more information, visit