Thursday, July 25, 2024

Freemasons support couple’s campaign to prevent unnecessary deaths from ‘undercover killer’

North Lincolnshire couple Steve and Gill Ayling have dedicated their lives to beating an ‘undercover killer’ that lurks undetected and then takes the lives of more than a dozen young people every week.

They’d never heard of Young Sudden Cardiac Death until it claimed the life of their son Nathan five years ago, who, like 80% other sufferers, had shown no symptoms but was nevertheless found dead in bed at the age of just 31.

Nathan Ayling

What’s more, a dedicated screening programme could save the lives of 90% of those who die from Young Sudden Cardiac Death.

And now spearheading a group called The Beat Goes On they are determined to do everything they can to save other parents from the grief they suffered. They’re doing that by fierce campaigning to get Government to implement a national screening programme, and in the meantime investing a whopping £13,600 a year to provide private screening for 200 people aged between 14 and 35.

That money buys the services of a mobile cardiac screening unit and its staff who set up shop at Hope House Community Hub in Scunthorpe for two days each year. The unit has three pods, so three people can be tested every ten minutes, and all get to see a cardiologist.

The service is offered through a charity called Cardiac Risk in the Young, or CRY for short. That brings together people like Gill and Steve throughout the country who have the same shared vision.

The results of the screening can be remarkable, says Steve. “A perfect example is Georgia, a 24-year-old mum of two with no symptoms who came for screening and was found to have four holes in her heart. They were corrected by surgeons in Leeds. It’s fair to say the screening has meant she’ll have a longer life with her children, and that’s priceless.”

The money to pay for the screening has been raised through their own efforts, and donations like the £250 given by Freemasons of Scunthorpe’s St Lawrence Lodge.

Said Gill: “The people in the village of Scawby have been marvellous supporters. We started off with car booting and bake sales, and then marathon running and safari suppers, but we needed to do so much more. That’s why donations from people like the St Lawrence Lodge Freemasons are so important.”

Their next fundraising drive will be to work with companies keen to find good causes to support their Corporate Social Responsibilities.

The couple have taken their campaign to Parliament, where they have met Government Ministers and MPs in their push for a national screening programme.

Says Gill: “Why should grieving parents have to pay to save young lives? If 12 young people were dying each week in a specific type of car, the Government would do something urgently about it.”

How to get your test in North Lincolnshire

  • This year’s testing arranged exclusively by The Beat Goes On is on July 16th and 17th.
  • To book a test search Facebook for The Beat Goes On 31
  • Follow the instructions on the right of the page

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