Jordanstown woman raises money for 100 heart scans in memory of her brother who died from SADS

A woman from Jordanstown has raised enough money to give 100 school children a heart scan in memory of her brother.

Amy Adair-McCourt lost her brother, Nicky, when he was just 37-years-old to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, otherwise known as SADS.

Nicky had just moved back to Northern Ireland with his pregnant wife and one-year-old child.

His death rocked the whole family but in her grief, Amy began fundraising for CRY, a charity which helps those who have lost someone to a sudden cardiac death.

The charity also provides mobile heart-screening clinics.

The heart scan costs £60 per adult, totalling to £6,000 to give 100 pupils the screening.

"Grief is hard and it's sad and it always will be sad, but selfishly I wanted something to channel that sadness and grief into," said Amy.

"I like to fundraise when I can and there was a lot of thought around what this fundraising money should go into and it came down to how can we help prevent this (SADS) in any way we can.

"How can I prevent another family from having to go through what we've gone through and for something positive to come out of something so horrendous."

Speaking to some of the pupils after their screening, all fed back that it was quick, painless and gave them a sense of reassurance going forward.

An ECG is taken before electrodes are placed on the chest and ankles to measure the heart's electrical impulses.

If an anomaly is found by a specialist, a follow-up letter will be sent out in the post referring them for further investigation.

Around 12 otherwise healthy young adults die every week from an undiagnosed heart anomaly in the UK.

By screening, issues can be flagged early and preventative measures can be put in place to save lives.

Amy hopes other schools will be inspired to roll out similar heart screening tests in the hopes that more young lives are saved.