November 17, 2015, by Emma Rayner

Physiotherapy and sport rehabilitation students raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young

Physiotherapy and sport rehabilitation students at The University of Nottingham have been working as house cleaners, sports massage therapists and even butlers to raise vital funds for a charity that helps young people diagnosed with life-threatening cardiac conditions and bereaved families.

The campaign is in memory of Alexandra Reid, daughter of a physiotherapy lecturer in the department, who died from young sudden cardiac death aged just 16. Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die from undiagnosed heart conditions and the charity ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’ (CRY) works to reduce the frequency of these tragedies by promoting heart screening and funding medical research.

Alexandra Reid Alexandra Reid

The Nottingham physiotherapy and sport rehabilitation students held a charity auction of services they volunteered themselves and also asked for donations from local companies, celebrities and university staff.

The students’ latest fundraising efforts add to the £60,000 already raised by the Alex Reid Memorial Fund for CRY and by their friends and University associates for the charity. Some of the money raised has gone to screen young people between the age of 14 and 35 years of age and some to vital research.

Alex’s mum, Heather Reid, said: “Since Alex passed away in 2012 I have received so much support from both colleagues and students at the Division of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, both emotionally and practically by raising money in support of Alex’s memory.

“Alex loved her life, she told us so practically every day. She was full of enthusiasm, joy and love. She made us all feel great. She was an open and giving person and was loved by anyone who ever had the fortune to meet her. Alex had great massage skills (and was pretty famous for these with her peers) and although she had chosen to pursue medicine, I secretly hoped she might choose physiotherapy. Whichever she would have chosen, she would have been an asset to the profession. She would certainly be very proud of what is being achieved in her memory”.

A cheque for £1,614 was presented to former Vice-President of the University Council and alumnus, Mike McNamara, who accepted the money on behalf of CRY. Mike is a regional ambassador for the charity after his own son, Simon, died aged 25 from Sudden Cardiac Death in 2008.

CRY cheque  Mike said: “It is a tribute to the esteem in which Heather and the Reid family are held, that so much time, effort and ingenuity has gone into raising such a huge amount for CRY in Alex’s memory. It is an on-going tragedy that so many young people like Alex and Simon die at such a young age, with all their lives before them. Cardiac Risk in the Young does such valuable research and screening work to help understand better the causes of such early deaths and to help stop them – they deserve everyone’s support”.

More information on Young Sudden Cardiac Death and CRY’s campaign for a national screening programme for young people can be found here.

Posted in AlumniEventsHealth & medicineStaffStudents