Family of Thorpe Salvin girl (16) killed by heart condition help to screen hundreds in her memory

Family of Thorpe Salvin girl (16) killed by heart condition help to screen hundreds in her memory

By Gareth Dennison | 20/09/2019

Family of Thorpe Salvin girl (16) killed by heart condition help to screen hundreds in her memory
Heather Reid makes the post-tournament presentations

MORE than 100 young people had cardiac tests at a netball tournament in memory of a teenage girl killed by a hidden heart condition.

Another 96 had the ECG at the surgery of GP dad John Reid, who lost daughter Alex (16) the night before her last GCSE exam in 2012.

Five young people were referred for further tests after the weekend of screening at Sheffield High School and Kiveton Park Medical Practice.

The school has held an annual netball tournament in Alex’s memory for six years while her parents have raised more than £100,000.

Mum Heather, a physiotherapist and former uni lecturer, said: “Netball was a huge part of Alex’s life. She played to a very high standard, regularly representing both her school and club at county level.

“It has always seemed so fitting to us hold this tournament in her memory. It’s such a celebration of her life and recognition of the overwhelming and unfaltering support we receive from Sheffield High School, its staff, sports department and the entire school community. 

“This year, we were proud to take it a step further by bringing CRY’s expert screening team to the tournament, testing young people on site.”

Well over 1,000 people have been screened in memory of Alex, of Thorpe Salvin — including 112 at her old school on Saturday (14).

As well as helping charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, the Alex Reid Memorial Fund supports a pioneering research programme looking at how young people with diagnosed heart conditions can continue exercising safely.

Heather helped serve refreshments at the weekend — wearing a heart-covered pinny which belonged to her daughter.

She said: “The heartache we feel from losing such a vibrant, happy, young person, who had so much to offer, does not diminish.

“Yet our screening weekends always seem to be joyous occasions. Our team are wonderful people and we feel we are helping in some small way.”

An ECG, or electrocardiogram, is quick, non-invasive and painless test which can unearth hidden concerns.

Sport does not cause sudden cardiac death but can increase risk if a young person has an underlying condition.

In Italy, where screening is mandatory for sporty youngsters, incidence of sudden cardiac death has fallen by 89 per cent.

CRY chief executive Dr Steven Cox added: “We are so grateful for everything the Reid family has done to provide specialist cardiac testing in the core of their community for all young people.”

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