Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Text campaign helps Sad sufferers

A man whose brother died from a heart condition while playing sport is sending campaigning text messages

A man whose brother died from a heart condition while playing sport is aiming to raise tens of thousands of euros sending campaigning text messages.

It is estimated one person a week dies from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (Sads) and Stephen Comerford has timed the awareness drive to coincide with next weekend's All-Ireland football final.

The 31-year-old wants fans to send 100,000 messages to raise 60,000 euro for screening programmes and defibrillators for clubs.

He was inspired to act after the sudden death last month of 16-year-old Patrick Dinsmore from south Down.

"To be honest every time I hear of another young sports person dying from Sads it takes me right back to day we lost Gary," he said.

"If my campaign means that one child will be screened and given the green light or clean bill of health from his cardiologist then the campaign for me will be a success."

Mr Comerford's brother died in 1996 aged 15 while playing for his local soccer club in Cork.

The family was later screened and Mr Comerford was himself found to have a heart defect.

The money raised through the text campaign will go to the Cormac McAnallen Trust set up after the sudden death of the young Tyrone star in 2004.

It is hoped the funds will extend screening campaigns around Cork and also allow help pay for defibrillators for clubs in Down and Cork.

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