£10,000 target to screen youngsters for heart risk in Whittlesey after powerful Emmerdale storyline
PUBLISHED: 11:27 10 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:27 10 February 2017
Health campaigner Deborah Slater wants to raise £10,000 to help save young people's lives in Whittlesey following a storyline on popular TV soap 'Emmerdale'.
Deborah Slator, who set up the successful Defibrillators for All group in the town, wants the money to screen up to 200 young people locally to detect potentially life-threatening, undiagnosed heart conditions.
The move follows the death in a recent episode of the television series of Joanie, who died of a sudden cardiac arrest.
A sudden cardiac arrest happens to 250 people a day in the UK, with just around eight per cent surviving.They can affect anyone, at any time, at any age.
The Defibrillators for All screening days will take place in June and focus on those aged 14 to 35.
Deborah said approximately 12 to 19 young people die suddenly each week in the UK of previously undetected heart problems.
She said: “To date Defibrillators For All has focused on providing public access defibrillators (PADS) for the town.
“Whittlesey now has over 50 PADS (no other town in the country has as many per head of the population).
“We now need to focus on our young people to ensure the town is as heart-safe as possible.
“We need to raise £10,000 in the next four months, and we need people to pull together and help us to do this.
“If it could save even one young person’s life it will be worth it.”
Defibrillators For All has booked the screening charity CRY to visit the town on June 2 and 3 to carry out the screening.
Deborah said: “We have booked two days which means we will be able to screen a massive 200 young people between the ages of 14 and 35.”
Screening will identify most cardiac abnormalities. The simple way to diagnose most cardiac abnormalities is by having an ECG (electrocardiogram) test.
Small stickers known as electrodes are placed on the client’s chest and the wires connect to an ECG machine.
For extra clarity an echocardiogram can also be done, a printout of the heart’s electrical activity is evaluated by a cardiologist.
An Echo is non-invasive and takes only a few minutes to perform.
Deborah added: “Social media has been an incredible tool for us to spread the word within the community about sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and now with more people aware that this could affect their own families, we need them to understand they can help us to prevent these tragedies from happening.
“We believe with their support we can make a massive difference.”
You can contact Deborah via Facebook.