Youngsters have their hearts screened in memory of Bognor Regis teen

Lorna Carby, cardiac physiologist with Oliver Camp  Photo: Kate Shemilt ks16000530-4
Lorna Carby, cardiac physiologist with Oliver Camp Photo: Kate Shemilt ks16000530-4

More than a hundred young people had their hearts checked at a screening in memory of a Bognor Regis teenager.

Some 120 patients were seen at the second heart screening occasion arranged by the mother of David Green.

Apparently fit and healthy David died in December 2010 aged 19 from an undiagnosed heart condition.

Gabby Broadhurst said she was delighted at the success of last Saturday’s event held with the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity. Gabby, 48, of Havelock Road, said: “I feel like it’s David’s legacy – that something so tragic can be used to save lives.”

Among those who attended the fully booked screening was Emily Venn, 23, of Horsham. She said: “I’ve got a really fast normal heartbeat.

“The screening showed there was nothing wrong but I was recommended to get a 24 hour heart monitor.

“That is to see if my heart slows down when I go to sleep, which is normal, or if it’s still high. That is going to be really useful to do but I didn’t know about those monitors.”

Her boyfriend, Jack Hamill, 26, of Brighton, said a relative had died from a heart condition aged just 30.

“Because of that, and the fact I do a lot of physical activity, I thought it was a good idea to get my heart checked.

“There’s nothing to worry about and the screening was quick and easy,” he said.

“It was definitely worth coming along because it’s not something you really think about until something happens. Even fit and healthy people can have heart attacks.”

One of the youngest patients was Shane Fitzgibbon, 14, of Rose Green. Both his parents’ families have a history of heart disease.

“It’s the first time I’ve had an ECG test. I’m glad I came along. It’s worth knowing there’s nothing wrong with my heart,” he said.

The first sessions held by Gabby took place two years ago. She believes that weekend helped to save the lives of three people.

She hopes to repeat the screening every year. Each day of screening costs £3,500 for 100 examinations. Gabby has raised some £25,000 in the past five years.

Her Team David of some 16 runners will again be in this year’s Bognor Prom 10k race.

“I’m extremely happy that people are taking this matter seriously,” she said. “There are 12 deaths a week in this country from undiagnosed heart conditions.”

Screening manager Gareth Jones said each patient was given an ECG to check the ‘electrics’ of their heart. This was assessed by cardiologist Dr Keerthi Prakash.

Any which caused concerns had an ultrasound scan to check their heart’s chambers, valves and muscle thickness. Continued worries would see a patient advised to visit their GP for a further referral.

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