Family brings cardiac screening to Plymouth University
A BEREAVED family is offering 100 free heart tests in memory of their son who died at the age of 21 from a sudden cardiac arrest.
Linda and Kevin Marsden will be hosting a local cardiac screening session following the sudden and tragic death of their son Ollie Marsden (pictured) who was aged 21.
Ollie, from Totnes, collapsed and died while he was training with Totnes Rugby Club on his old school's all-weather pitch.
He was in his final year of teacher training at Plymouth University.
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He died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest caused by an undetected heart defect.
Since then, Linda and Kevin have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of young sudden cardiac death as well as raise funds for screening.
Organised in partnership with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a heart charity for young people, and University of Plymouth Students' Union (UPSU) a free session is taking place next week on Wednesday March 20 from 1pm at UPSU.
Alison Cox MBE, Chief Executive and Founder of CRY, says: "It takes enormous courage for a family who has been affected by young sudden cardiac death to be able to see beyond their own tragedy and want to raise funds for CRY to help save another life and prevent another family having to suffer in the way they have.
"I find it very humbling that despite their own terrible grief, they somehow manage to find the strength to support us to try and prevent other families from the same catastrophic grief as they have endured.
"On behalf of everyone at CRY, I would like to say a huge 'thank you' to the fundraisers and the local community in Plymouth for their support."
CRY's screening programme now tests over 12,000 young people across the UK every year and one in every 300 of the young people that CRY tests, will be identified with a potentially life threatening condition.
Steph Driscoll, from the University of Plymouth Student Union, said: "I'm really pleased to see this event is happening in Plymouth University Students' Union it will raise the profile of CRY, what it does and why.
"Plymouth University students are very active and participate in sport and activities on a daily basis, this is why we promote the importance of and monitor student's health and wellbeing to ensure they are as healthy and happy as they can be.
"The screening is full with 100 students signed up to get tested on the day, and we would like to thank Kevin Marsden and his family for this opportunity and possibly saving a life."