A visit from a heart screening unit to Ryde Academy has referred 29 pupils for further examination.

Martin Baldwin, Paul Stevens, Andrew Quew
Martin Baldwin, Paul Stevens, Andrew Quew

The visit last week from charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) saw 210 students from Ryde Academy tested for undetected heart issues.


Now 13% of those seen have been referred for further tests.

CRY heart monitor ryde academyIt doesn’t mean that they will have an undiagnosed heart problem, organisers are quick to point out.

The CRY unit was able to visit the Island, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Paul Stevens and his family, Andrew Quew and Martin Baldwin.

The two screening days at Ryde Academy were dedicated to the memory of Andrew Stevens and Gemma Quew, both former students at Ryde High (now Ryde Academy)

Paul, a former teacher at Ryde Academy, lost his son Andrew following an undetected heart condition.

“It’s costing £35 per student to screen them, and you think in the big thing of things, if there’s 12 youngsters a week dying of it then that’s not a lot of money… It doesn’t seem a lot of money and I know parents that I spoke [to] when I was here that would happily have paid that, if they known the outcome, because I would have done.”

Andrew Quew lost his wife Gemma at the age of 30 to a previously undiagnosed heart defect:

“There is still in this country, especially when you’re young, you have got this impression that you are bulletproof and problems and heart problems happen to older people. As CRY say with their statistics, between the ages of 14 and 35 12 young people will lose their life every week.

“What I hope the end result of these two days of screening at Ryde Academy will mean that it might act as a catalyst so that for future screenings Ryde Academy might be inspired to say that our parents believe it’s been worth getting their children checked, that students believe it’s a been a worthwhile endeavour and they might be inspired to do their own fundraising in the future.”

CRY heart monitor
Jack Millward is tested at Ryde Academy

Ryde Academy student Jack Millward once of those screened. He had no problems detected, but understands it’s importance:

“Quite luckily, I’m absolutely fine… I never really thought about it until it came up. When we were told about it, it made think about it and made me realise it is extremely important to do this.

“I think everyone on the Island should be entitled to it, if it saves a childs’ life everyone deserves it.

“There’s nothing at [all to be scared of], it’s completely safe, it didn’t hurt at all. tThe only bit that did hurt is when they took the sticky plasters on my hairy legs, that didn’t work at all, a bit painful!”