More than a 1000 young hearts screened in memory of son who died from early cardiac arrest

ITV Central reporter Ravneet Nandra spoke with Resham and Dalbag Nagra about the importance of heart screening

The parents of a man who died from a rare cardiac arrest when he was just 26 years old have raised enough money to screen over 1000 young hearts in his memory.

Pardeep Nagra from Wolverhampton collapsed and died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, or SADs, which kills at least 12 young people a week.

His parents, Resham and Dalbag, have been raising funds for 15 years to make sure young people are screened for any heart defects before it's too late.

They've been working with Cardiac Risk in the Young and have been fundraising since their son died to raise enough money to offer heart screening services.

To date, they have screened 1125 young hearts and hosted 11 screening days in Wolverhampton and Leicester.

So far, they've raised £77,563 by organising and taking part in fundraising events, including charity balls, martial arts events and sky dives.

They've also installed two defibrillators- one in Bentley Bridge in Wednesfield, and the other at Heath Park School, where Pardeep attended.

To date, they have screened 1125 young hearts and hosted 11 screening days in Wolverhampton and Leicester. Credit: ITV Central

Each week in the UK, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people aged 35 and under die from undiagnosed heart conditions.

1 in 100 people carry some sort of heart defect.

At their most recent screening day at Heath Park School this week, nearly 100 students and teachers took part.

17-year-old Nirvan said he couldn't miss this opportunity to be screened as there is a history of heart problems on both sides of his family.

He said: "There was a bit of worry, yes, because having it on both sides I thought a potential problem could arise but all of the workers were nice and comforted me in a way because they were showing me the process so definitely calmed me down a bit."

How does screening work?

It works by having an electrocardiogram, or ECG. It's 12 leads attached to your chest and limbs which records the hearts electrical activity.

If there's a defect, it can then be investigated further.

Dr Nikhil Chatrath say's the screening is painless and takes only five minutes.

"We look for electrical abnormalities of the heart and also structural abnormalities of the heart so problems due to the heart being too large or too thick.

"Or somebody being more susceptible to an abnormal heart developing.

"This could occur during exercise, it could occur during rest but evening a resting ECG can give us huge amounts of information."

12 leads are attached to your chest and limbs which records the hearts electrical activity. Credit: ITV Central

Who was Pardeep?

Pardeep Nagra was described as a bubbly, healthy and happy person.

He played hockey for Staffordshire and Finchfield and would, "lighten up any room he walked in."

He died from a cardiomyopathy, a general term for diseases of the heart muscle, at 26 years old.

His mum, Resham, described the moment he died:"He was literally walking to get a cup of tea, with his friends. He went quiet, his friends said 'Deeps, why are you quiet?'

"Turned around and the next thing they saw him on the floor.

What is SADS?

Sudden arrhythmic death syndrome is when someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly from a cardiac arrest, but the cause of the cardiac arrest can’t be found.

A cardiac arrest is when your heart suddenly stops pumping blood around your body.

This stops your breathing and starves your brain of oxygen.

The rhythm of your heart (which controls your heartbeat) is controlled by electrical impulses.

If the electrical impulses go wrong, it can cause an abnormal heart rhythm known as an arrhythmia.

Some arrhythmias can be dangerous if they’re left untreated, they can cause a cardiac arrest.

Your heart’s rhythm and electrical impulses are no longer there after death, this means an abnormal heart rhythm can’t be found and the heart’s structure will appear normal.

This is why the cause of the cardiac arrest can’t be found and SADS might be diagnosed.

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