Mar 14 2013 by Tom Duffy, Ormskirk Advertiser
Family of Ormskirk teenager who died suddenly promote heart screening event at Edge Hill
AN ORMSKIRK family, whose teenage son died suddenly, has launched their annual screening session to help save lives.
John Marshall,16, died from an undetected heart condition the day after signing forms with Everton FC.
The teenage prodigy, who played 12 times for England schoolboys, died from arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy in 1995.
His parents later helped launch charity Cardiac Risk in the Young to promote awareness and screening.
Their latest initiative, which takes place at Edge Hill University tomorrow, coincides with the anniversary of Fabrice Muamba’s collapse at White Hart Lane last year.
John’s mum Maureen said; “When we first became involved with CRY, we had to really work hard to encourage young people to come along to have their heart screened. Thanks to the support of our community and local media, we were always packed out by the time screening day arrived – but we really had to battle against people’s belief of; ‘Why do I need to get tested?’ Young people who are fit and healthy don’t just drop dead from a heart condition.’
“However, we know more than anyone that’s just not true and thanks to the ongoing work of CRY, the message is really getting out there now.”
Hayley Marshall, John’s sister, adds: “My brother was so fit and healthy, he was known as one of England’s footballing jewels in the crown, mainly for his left foot.
“As a family, we’re proud to fund cardiac screening sessions with CRY, such as this next event taking place at Edge Hill University and will continue doing all we can to help stop other young people from dying and to prevent other families from experiencing the same grief that we had to endure.”
Every week, 12 young people (aged 35 and under) lose their lives to sudden cardiac death in the UK – a statistic that is believed to be a conservative estimate.
It is also thought that 80% of these apparently healthy young people who die from young sudden cardiac death will have shown no previous sign of heart defects until it is too late.
Although this weekend’s screening session is now full, details of other events are available at www.testmyheart.org