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CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology

Inside the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology (CRYCCP)

The agonising wait endured by many families following the sudden and tragic death of a child or partner could soon be over with the opening of the UK's first ever 'fast-track' pathology laboratory to analyse the causes of unexpected cardiac death in apparently fit and healthy young people.

A grant in excess of ÂŁ200,000 has been awarded to one the world's leading cardiac pathology experts, Dr Mary Sheppard. A pilot of the service has been run at the Royal Brompton for the past 10 months, during which time the team has received direct referrals from almost 100 coroners across the UK.

The new unit, known as the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology (CRYCCP) is based at the world-famous Royal Brompton Hospital. It is funded by CRY and has been jointly established with support from Imperial College London.

Alison Cox said "For years, we have been frustrated by the time it takes for families to get answers about a tragedy which happens without warning or explanation. A fast-track service accessing expertise, which also funds the coroner's costs of this vital investigation, is long overdue."

The official launch took place on Friday 7 March and was attended by more than 160 people, including bereaved families and supporters of CRY and the hospital. Speakers included Michael Burgess, HM Coroner for Surrey and Coroner of the Queen's Household, new CRY Patron Sir Clive Woodward and Alison Cox MBE, Founder and Chief Executive of CRY.

Michael Burgess added "We thank CRY and we also thank Mary and her team here for the important service they are providing. If the turnaround proves quick enough, we may be able to avoid some inquests entirely."

CRY funding for the project is due to the astonishing fundraising of the English family who lost both a father and teenage son to sudden cardiac death as well as two fundraising events in 2006 instigated by CRY Patron Simon Halliday (England Rugby Union double grand slam winner and member of the team of 1991 World Cup finalists). Howard and Sebastian English both died playing rugby. Sebastian (aged just 15) died 10 years after his father, as his family were unaware he had an inheritable condition, highlighting the importance of a correct pathology diagnosis for appropriate family referral and screening. The new centre will allow coroners to refer cases directly and receive a full report of the actual cause of death, usually within two weeks. Currently, some families have to endure a wait of anything from three to eighteen months for answers following their tragedy. New CRY Patron Sir Clive Woodward

12 | Cardiac Risk in the Young

Issue 47

CRY Update Magazine - Issue 47  

CRY’s quarterly update magazine with news and information about the charity and our supporters. Registered Charity 1050845.

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