THE PARENTS of a keen sportsman who died suddenly from an undetected heart condition will help to relaunch a major campaign to raise awareness of the problem.
Allan and Marje Scott's son Mike died in 1996 at just the age of 17 after collapsing whilst playing basketball. It was only after his death that they discovered he had a previously undiagnosed heart condition known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).
He had collapsed just three weeks before his death whilst playing football but doctors were unable to find anything wrong with him. Since then, Allan, 64 and Marje, 63, of Beadlam, have worked tirelessly to help raise awareness and new figures show that every week 12 young, fit and healthy people across the UK are dying from undiagnosed heart conditions.
Marje and her husband will be at the unveiling of a new poster-sized version of a postcard for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) on Thursday, May 1 at the Leeds Marriott Hotel.
She said: "We want people to know that it can happen. Mike was happy and healthy and on that morning we had a lovely breakfast and a laugh. At about 1pm my husband took the call that he had collapsed and he drove like a maniac so I knew something was wrong. It was devastating, how do you get over something like that."
The poster features the pictures of 12 young people, including Mike, who have died from a sudden cardiac arrest and more than 170,000 postcards have already been distributed by CRY families across the UK to raise awareness and lobby support amongst MPs.
CRY now tests about 14,000 young people across the country each year to screen them for potentially life threatening conditions.
Whilst continuing to raise awareness, Marje and Allan are also hoping to campaign to get tests for heart conditions to be run in schools.
"I think it would definitely be a good thing for schools to have. I know it is expensive but maybe they ought to do something," said Marje.
"It can be detected on some people and maybe Mike could have been saved."