Grieving parents secure heart screening for Cornish youngsters

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A fundraising drive by parents who lost their son to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), has secured an important heart screening event for young people in Cornwall.

Ann and Andy Demaine, whose son Tom died of SADS in 2015, set up the Thomas Demaine Memorial Fund with the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

The fund will enable the mobile heart screening to take place at Cornwall College St Austell in November.

Every week in the UK, 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. Experts suggest that all young people should be screened for potential heart defects, which can easily be managed once they are found.

Ann and Andy recalled the shock of having the police arrive on their doorstep at 5am in 2015.

They were told that Tom had had a fatal accident on the A38 just after midnight. Eight months later, just before his inquest, Ann and Andy received Tom’s medical information.

“Tom had a very enlarged heart and the story became clear that the large heart was probably the cause of a fatal cardiac dysrhythmia, resulting in Tom’s car accident – no other cause had been found,” Ann explained.

Currently the Government do not offer national screening and so it is up to families who have lost a young person to raise funds to allow it to go ahead.

“As a family, almost three years later, we now feel strong enough to be able to take on this role and are devoting all our time to fundraising to allow young people aged 14-35 years in our own community to receive cardiac screening,” Ann continued.

Two days of screening costs £13,500, which will enable 200 people to be screened.

“We really hope that you will make a donation; all donations, in collection pots or on-line to the CRY Thomas Demaine Memorial Fund, will go directly towards our local screening efforts.  – Please then choose DEMAINE, THOMAS from the drop down list” Ann added.

To find out more about CRY and how to book a screening for a young person at Cornwall College St Austell in November please go to  nearer the time or call CRY on 0203 691 0000.