Fabrice Muamba saved my life: Burnley footballer who went for screening after Bolton star's collapse discovers he too has deadly heart defectBurnley defender Jack Errington, 17, had life-threatening enlarged aorta
He was prompted to undergo screening after Muamba's cardiac arrest
Undiscovered cardiac conditions kill 12 people under 35 every week



20:20 GMT, 12 December 2012

Fabrice Muamba's life-threatening cardiac arrest in the middle of an FA cup quarter-final match has helped save the life of another player.

Muamba, 24, collapsed in front of millions of screaming fans in March and his heart stopped beating naturally for 78 minutes during the match between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur .

Now, prompted by the ex-Bolton player's heart attack, another young footballer has undergone major heart surgery as a result of a routine scan.

Burnley defender Jack Errington, 17, was found to have an enlarged aorta which could have killed him.

Burnley FC's Jack Errington (left, with Alan Shearer) was told an enlarged aorta could have killed him

Burnley FC's Jack Errington (left, with Alan Shearer) was told an enlarged aorta could have killed him

Former England star Alan Shearer, who was visiting the hospital said: 'It's an incredible
story as he was just tested after what happened to Fabrice Muamba. He
actually said to me when they gave him his results he thought they were

'It shows that a little good has come out of Muamba's
situation, which was unfortunate for Fabrice but in a way he's helped
someone else.

Hidden heart defects among the young are not uncommon, according to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

Fabrice Muamba who shocked the nation when he dramatically collapsed in March has now made a full recovery

Fabrice Muamba shocked the nation when he dramatically collapsed in March

Dr Steve Cox,
director of screening at the charity, says:
'This is just another example of the importance of screening young
people (aged 35 and under) for underlying cardiac conditions.'

'The CRY
Screening programme currently tests around 10,000 young people every
year in the UK. Of those, one in every 300 will be identified with a
potentially life-threatening condition.'

'Every week in the UK, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people, under
the age of 35, die from undiagnosed cardiac conditions.'

'80 per cent of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms, which
means that there are many young people who will be simply unaware that
they are quite literally living with a ‘ticking time-bomb’.

'CRY wants all young people to be aware of the importance of cardiac screening and to have the opportunity to be tested,' he said.

Many underlying heart problems are due to an inherited condition rather than a general lack of fitness.

Indeed sport stars may be at greater risk because intense activity can
significantly increase a person's risk of heart attack if they have a
heart abnormality.

Research has suggested people are twice as likely to suffer a cardiac arrest if they play sport at a high level.

While the first symptom of a cardiac condition is often sudden death, fainting regularly or a family history of unexplained deaths are both symptoms to look out for.


Sudden death in younger people is usually from inherited heart

The most common of these is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
(HCM), which is when the heart muscle becomes excessively thick,
making the heart vulnerable to dangerous and potentially fatal heart

Other disorders of the heart include myocarditis, which causes
inflammation of the heart muscle and Long QT syndrome, which affects the
sodium, potassium and calcium channels in the heart needed to control
the electric current in the cells.

Most heart abnormalities can be diagnosed with an an electrocardiogram,
which looks at the electrical conduction pathways around the heart.
This test is painless, non-invasive and takes a few minutes to perform.
It can be confirmed with an an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart.)

For more information visit the CRY website here