The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust will hit a new milestone this week in their campaign to raise awareness of Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), the disease that tragically claimed the life of 14 year old Joe Humphries and is responsible for the death of 12 people aged 12-35 every week in the UK alone. The charity, set up by Joe’s parents, aims to raise awareness of unexpected cardiac death, so that people are equipped to respond quickly and subsequently, save lives.
The trust’s community liaison officer Alan Harrison White will address students and teachers at Groby’s Brookvale High School today, having spoken to 5,000 young people and 200 teachers in the past year. He and his with his wife Jill have helped 91 people to participate in cardiac training (CPR increases survival rates by up to 50% if carried out within the first vital minutes of collapse) as well as sharing information on the disease and its symptoms.
Alan, a retired cardiac nurse, said “SADS can strike fit and healthy young people at any time, and the trust is playing a vital role in making people aware of what has previously been a silent killer. I have been talking to students in the city and county and our message has been very well received. My target is to have shared this important information with 10,000 young people and 400 teachers by the end of the year.”
The disease strikes unexpectedly and with devastating consequences, as exemplified by Joe’s story. He was a fit and active boy who suffered from a cardiac arrest whilst out running on October 4th 2012, a tragedy that inspired his parents to start up the trust and raise awareness across the Leicestershire community.
JHMT Chair and Joe’s dad Steve Humphries said, “We are delighted that yet another milestone has been achieved thanks to the tireless and selfless efforts of community champions like Alan Harrison White, who along with his wife Jill have committed so much time and effort to the Trust’s cause of raising awareness of the SADS.”
Rugby legend Martin Johnson is a friend of the family, and the charity’s patron, and he along with other friends and supporters, has worked hard over the past 15 months to introduce CPR training and defibrillators in a number of venues. By spreading the message and educating young people, the charity hopes that people will react efficiently and confidently in the case of sudden cardiac arrests, preventing deaths in the future.
Website: www jhmt.org.uk