Well, what a week for Cricket and in particular, James Taylor.
His world has been utterly rocked by the discovery of the congenital heart condition arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. He will this week undergo an operation to have a defibrillator fitted after complaining recently of light headedness and a high heart rate. The condition is so serious that this outstandingÂ young International Cricketer’s career has been suddenly and most cruelly cut short.
His now former England Captain Alistair Cook has even suggested that the news should serve as a “wake up call” to the game as a whole. Despite that fact, Taylor had his last heart scan in 2013 and showed no symptoms. Regular testing takes place in Rugby Union, Football, following the collapse of Fabrice Muamba and Rugby League following the tragic case of Danny Jones, which rocked the sport to its core. All of these sports and many more have taken positive steps to place more emphasis on the welfare of the individuals involved.
But, what of the millions of boys, girls, women and children who turn out and play football, tennis, cricket, rugby or whatever sport they choose every week?Â For the vast majority of them there is no heart screenings or testingÂ in place and unfortunately this is where the real tragedies lay.
Above is a picture of Lewis Marsh, aged 13 at the time of this picture. It is also the age when he sadly passed away whilst knocking up on a tennis court. He simply collapsed and never regained consciousness!
Lewis is my Brother in Law. I never met him, but, he is a huge part of mine and my wife’s dailyÂ life. Like anyone who has lost a son, brother or cousin you never get over it, you simply learn to deal with life in their absence and feel privileged to have been a part of their short life.
Having visited St. Georges Hospital in Tooting several times with my wife, whilst she, her sister and Mother have undergoneÂ tests to understand whether this is a genetic condition and whether they are carrying it and if it poses a risk to our children. It is simply tragic being in an environment where everybody is connected by the fact thatÂ they and their Family who have been ripped apart with the unexpected death of a loved one.
In memory of Lewis and on behalf ofÂ Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), my wonderful Mother in Law tirelessly raises money anywhere and anyway she can to enable her to arrange free screenings atÂ local amateur sporting clubs so that other families do not have to be thrown into tragic circumstances.
If you are a member of a local sporting club and would likeÂ more information on how to have heart screenings contact myself or CRY for more information.
Or if you would like to help in our fundraising effort, come to our next event on Thursday 2nd June at Smith and Wollensky, where CRY Patron, former Bath, England England Rugby player and current European Rugby Chairman, Simon Halliday will be out guest of honour.