Dad who lost daughter to heart condition campaigns for testing machines in schools

Diane and John Ber with CRY leaflets which they are using in their campaign to raise awareness of Cardiac risk in young people after their daughter Kasia died from a genetic heart disorder.
Diane and John Ber with CRY leaflets which they are using in their campaign to raise awareness of Cardiac risk in young people after their daughter Kasia died from a genetic heart disorder.
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A DAD has called out for support him as he pleas for ECG machines to be taken into schools.

John Ber, 51, lost his daughter Kasia in 2005, aged 17, to an undetected heart condition, but insists that testing can save lives in the area.

Kasia Ber. (IRN

Kasia Ber. (IRN

Kasia had suffered from Long QT Syndrome, a hereditary condition which takes 12 teenage lives every week in the UK.

Now her devastated dad wants to see more teenagers being screened by the “life-saving” machines to stop more “devastation for families in this area”.

John is trying to have one round of testing in schools in the region that he knows can be the difference.

To counter Long QT Syndrome, which can be treated with beta blockers, it would take a “painless test for a couple of minutes once in their life”.

John, from Brier Avenue in Horden, said: “These machines save lives. It is as simple as that.

“We need to see the machines going into schools and in sports clubs in the area because it doesn’t matter if your active or not, you still may be a sufferer.

“All it takes is one test and you are done for life. Imagine the families relief if something was found and they were saved because of a simple, non-intrusive test.

“The young people are our future doctors or lawyers that one day could be fighting our children’s corner and saving their children’s lives.

“It would mean a lot to myself and the family because if we save just one life from 1,000 tested, then our job is done and it is a success.”

John, a project worker in mental health, recently took part in the Cardiac Risk in the Young (Cry) charity walk, along with wife Dianne, 49, and 21-year-old son Chris.

They were joined by hundreds of Cry supporters along Durham’s riverside in a walk that has gained support and raised the awareness of the condition.

John, who, alongside his family and their friends, has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the charity, added: “Cry have done so much for us since our Kasia died. The people involved are brilliant and we need to make sure that the charity events get bigger and bigger.

“This would help to save lives of teenagers across the UK and even if just one life is saved then it will be a success. To put it in perspective, there were 50 people walking in memory of Kasia.

“That is 50 devastated people because of one life lost so it is right that we do our best to save other families and friends being hurt.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho