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Brighton man backs heart campaign after having attack aged 26
A man who collapsed with a heart attack aged just 26 is backing a campaign urging people to be more aware of the risks when young.
Joseph Tanner’s heart stopped for seven minutes when he collapsed at the finishing line of a half marathon.
Volunteers and medics battled to save him in front of spectators and competitors before he was transferred to hospital where he stayed for three weeks.
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Mr Tanner, now 31, from Brighton, was eventually diagnosed with Brugada syndrome, a condition that causes a disruption of the heart’s normal rhythm.
He had an internal defibrillator fitted will which kick-start his heart if it suddenly stops and is now doing well.
He is throwing his support behind Cardiac Risk in the Young’s (CRY) call to increase awareness so people are diagnosed as early as possible.
This reduces the changes of people dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart disease they did not know they had.
Mr Tanner has helped contribute to a booklet published by the charity, which highlighs its campaign and showing how people have been tested for potentially fatal heart problems have learned to live with their diagnosis.
He said: “I was keen to return to normal after my attack and so returned to work 10 days later.
“However I found I needed time to reflect and come to terms with what had happened.
“Friends didn't seem to know how to treat me and I did not know how to act around myself. They were cautious, ensuring I was okay, which was appreciated but annoying too.
“I just hope that by becoming involved with this new resource that CRY has produced and that by telling my story, I can let anyone else out there who might be going through the same experience that I have, that you are not alone. Help and support is available and you don't need to be scared.”
It is estimated that one in 300 young people aged 35 and under who are tested by CRY are found to carry a potentially life threatening condition.
CRY’s pioneering screening programme now tests around 12,000 young people every year which, combined with increased awareness, has led to more young people being routinely diagnosed.
Regular meetings funded by CRY are held at venues around the UK and each session comprises group counselling informal Q&A with an expert cardiologist and the opportunity to meet and talk to others who have been similarly affected.
There is also a dedicated myheart website and newsletter, written for and by these young people, with a variety of articles to inspire and encourage others.
More details can be found at www.c-r-y-org.uk or www.myheart.org.uk.
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