What is the cost of a Life?Cardiac Risk in the Young
The date was the 17th November 2018 and the location was the Weald of Kent Golf Club, near Maidstone. The event? To host the Annual Cornwallis East Kent Freemason’s Charity Awards.
I (Matt Jury) was extremely proud to have been invited to witness the giving of over £25,000 to 18 local charities by our Provincial Grand Master, Neil Johnstone, head of the Province of East Kent Freemason’s.
One of those charities was CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). I listened to a gentlemen called Steve Hammond who is the founder of CRY stand up and spoke about his son Ben, a talented sportsman who complained about fatigue like most children do, and that as a parent, you believe that they are just coming up with an excuse not to go training, or take part in the next event. Ben tragically passed away through an unknown heart condition.
Steve went on to say that “Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. Since its formation in 1995, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) has been working to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD). CRY supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions and offers bereavement support to families affected by YSCD. CRY promotes and develops heart screening programs and funds medical research. CRY publishes and distributes medical information written by leading cardiologists for the general public. CRY funds specialist referral, screening and cardiac pathology services at leading UK hospitals”.
My story is that after 4 months from this donation event, I contacted CRY to arrange for my 14 year old boy to be tested. A friend of mine who I invited along to the cheque presentation, also wished for his son to be checked too. We both booked the boys in to be tested. (Both called Joshua) On Thursday 28th Feb we made our way to Tenterden to have the boys screened. Both play a lot of rugby and are also keen sportsman in other sports, on average they are active 12 hours a week participating in one form of sport or another.
We were given a time slot after booking in on line and waited with a cup of tea to be called. Each boy was then called through to the examining room where the nurses calmly spoke to them about what was going to happen. They were then connected up to the ECG machine to begin the test.
The 12-lead ECG test (which was first developed at the turn of the 20th century, with its rollout as diagnostic tool routinely seen in hospitals from the 1950s) is currently recognized by many experts as the “gold standard” test for identifying cardiac abnormalities and signposting a need for further investigations such as echocardiogram scanning, MRI and genetic testing.
After approximately 5 mins the reading was taken and we were asked to wait by the doctors room. The doctor then called us in and explained that everything was well with my son and that we could go. A sense of relief obviously was felt.
Life for us went back to normal and both boys went back to school looking forward to the hockey match that they had later that afternoon.
Awareness is CRY’s main objective: Preventing young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families.
This has been an extremely eye opening experience and I just would like to say a huge thank you to the Masons and our Province for the money donated for this particular cause. We are always happy to give but to see where that money has gone and what differences it is making has been very encouraging and I am proud through that alone to be called a mason.
Article by Matt Jury
Registered Charity Number: 1050845
Head Office: Unit 1140B, The Axis Centre, Cleeve Road, Leatherhead, Surrey T22 7RD
Logo taken from the C R Y website.