Essex Junior Squash are committed supporters of the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and we encourage all our young athletes to make an appointment to be screened by this amazing organisation.
CRY offers subsidised ECG and Echocardiogram screening to all young people between the ages of 14 & 35 and all of CRY’s public events are free to attend.
For more information, check out their website www.c-r-y.org.uk
Below is a report from Mrs Sally-Ann Brown, mum of one of our young Essex players, Jamie Brown. She tells us the background to why they thought it important to have Jamie tested by CRY.
Jamie Brown turned 14 last weekend, a milestone which couldn’t come soon enough, according to his mum Sally. It meant he could finally attend a CRY screening centre.
Jamie’s dad Tim lost his best friend to an undiagnosed heart defect when he was 19. An Essex County cricketer, he had a promising future ahead of him, maybe even an England call up but his life was cut short when, without any prior warning he collapsed whilst playing cricket and never regained consciousness.
Every parent worries about their children from time to time, being involved in a road traffic accident or getting caught up in a fight – a case of wrong place wrong time – which is why we relish the fact that they engage in sport. It keeps them off the street and away from negative influences. Why would we give a moment’s thought that our fit and healthy sports loving son or daughter might be running around the squash court with a potentially life threatening heart defect. It should be said that it’s highly unlikely this is the case but for the sake of a 20 minute screening appointment, this unknown could be ruled out.
Last week, Jamie attended a screening at a clinic in Leigh on Sea, Southend in memory of Carli Lansley who passed away in 2017 at the age of 36 leaving husband and 2 children. It costs £5000 to fund screening for 100 young people aged between 14 and 35 and so far the Carli Lansley Foundation has raised enough funds for 8 screening days in the Southend area.
The most difficult thing about the screening process is booking a place in the first instance, they go very quickly so clearly the message is getting out there.
Today, the whole process took no more than 20 minutes, Jamie had 8 leads attached to his body and the ECG recorded the electrical activity of his heart which was printed out. We then saw a doctor who was happily able to tell us that his heart was working normally.
Job done. Well not quite. Knowing what I do about what was been dubbed ‘the silent killer’ of the young I feel as though I have a responsibility to spread the word so to speak. I left this morning with a renewed sense of purpose. I came away with a magazine which comprised almost 800 fundraising stories in memory of a loved one, among those stories was one of our own – Harry Faulkner, a young squash player from Berkhamsted who passed away in 2013 aged only 18.
It would be easy to read this, think to yourself, I ought to get my son or daughter screened then find that you get bitten by the ‘life is too busy bug’ and it gets relegated to the bottom of the things to do list or worse still gets forgotten about completely.
So, if you haven’t already, make time today to visit the CRY website and book a screening and if there isn’t one in your area, register your interest and you’ll be sent notifications of when screenings become available.
Finally, find me at various squash tournaments or at training. I’ll be carrying this magazine around with me, flick through the pages and I defy you then not to make screening a top of the list priority.