City walk for Biggleswade women to raise awareness of cardiac risk for youngsters

CRY Bridge Walk 2018 - Jackie Godfrey and Louise Fitzpatrick
CRY Bridge Walk 2018 - Jackie Godfrey and Louise Fitzpatrick

Two women from Biggleswade joined a walk in the city to raise awareness of heart problems for young people, in tribute to one of their sons.

Jackie Godfrey and Louise Fitzpatrick took part in the annual awareness walk organised by heart charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) held in London.

The CRY Heart of London Bridges Walk is now in its 12th year and is one of the flagship events in the charity’s calendar, raising well over £750,000 to date since its launch in 2007.

Jackie first became involved with CRY following the death of her 12-year-old son Joe Robbins in 2006. Joe had been playing badminton when he passed away from a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

Jackie and Louise managed to raise £800 for the charity.

Around 1,400 people left Potters Fields Park - against the backdrop of Tower Bridge - at 11am on Sunday, June 24, following a minute’s silence and walked together, passing by 12 of London’s most famous landmarks. This figure represents the deaths of the 12 apparently ‘fit and healthy’ young people who die every week in the UK from young, sudden, cardiac death (YSCD).

In 80% of cases of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD) there will have been no signs or symptoms, which is why CRY believes proactive cardiac screening is vitally important. CRY now tests around 27,000 young people each year aged between 14 and 35 - and over 165,000 since the screening programme was launched in 1995. One in every 300 young people tested by CRY will be identified with a potentially life-threatening condition.

Chief executive of the charity, Dr Steven Cox, said: “CRY’s Heart of London Bridges Walk is always a very emotional and poignant day and, over the past 12 years, it has really focused on raising awareness and remembering those young people who have died, as well as helping to raise funds to save young lives. It also provides a unique opportunity for our supporters to come together and meet up with other families who will have been through a similar experience.

“We are immensely grateful to Jackie and Louise and everyone who took part this year, all of whom will have their own personal experience of the devastating impact of a sudden cardiac death of a young person close to them.

“We value their support hugely and also know that so many people from their local area will have been rooting for them every step of the way too.”

With continued support since 1995 from the public, bereaved families and many businesses and community organisations across the UK, CRY has been able to develop a unique range of services from research and fast-track pathology through to a specialist Network of Bereavement Support, as well as its pioneering screening programme.