Heart campaign could ‘save lives’ says father

Ken Waight  and four friends arranged a charity golf day in memory of his son Richard, who died of SADS, with all proceeds going to CRY. Pictured l-r Simon Titmus, Peter Hepworth, Mike Stanley, Craig Bellis, Martyn Bellis, Tim Shaw and Ken Waight. Picture: Marie Caley D2466MC
Ken Waight and four friends arranged a charity golf day in memory of his son Richard, who died of SADS, with all proceeds going to CRY. Pictured l-r Simon Titmus, Peter Hepworth, Mike Stanley, Craig Bellis, Martyn Bellis, Tim Shaw and Ken Waight. Picture: Marie Caley D2466MC
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THE father of a young teacher who died suddenly from a heart problem has backed a campaign which aims to detect lethal cardiac conditions early.

Richard Waight died in 2009 aged just 23 from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (or SADS).

Richard Waight, 23, who died in his sleep on November 8.

Richard Waight, 23, who died in his sleep on November 8.

The dad of the keen golfer, Ken Waight, has offered his support for a national campaign called ‘Heart Rhythm Week’ which is being run by charity Arrhythmia Alliance and calls for wider use of pulse checks.

These checks are the easiest way of detecting conditions early such as cardiac arrest or a stroke - two of the leading causes of death in the UK.

The 57-year-old staged a campaign last year with fellow members of the Rotary Club of Doncaster St George’s where they manned stalls with nurses and offered checks to residents.

Mr Waight, of Boat Lake, Sprotbrough, said: “This campaign is basically trying to find things which ultimately killed my son so it’s vital that people find out more about it. It could save lives.

“When we did it there were a number of people who were referred for further tests so it did prove extremely important.”

The ‘Know Your Pulse’ week-long campaign runs from Monday and has also been supported by Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll.

Mr Waight and Richard’s mum Jackie also recently helped to organise a charity golf day in memory of their son who taught at Hayfield School in Auckley.

The event at Doncaster Golf Club raised over £7,000 for the UK charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and the Richard Waight Schools Golf Foundation - launched this year by Richard’s parents in his memory after he set up golfing tuition for young people at Hayfield.

Mr Waight added: “It was fantastic and really well-attended. We only expected to raise about £1,500 so this total is really overwhelming, people have been so generous. It’s beyond our wildest expectations.

“Part of that money was from family friend Simon Titmus who ran the London Marathon and raised £1,900 and we had donations, money from the auction and a raffle as well as the golf day itself.

“It was so successful we’d like to make it an annual event and have booked May 18 of next year to hold another one.”

Mr Waight is now hoping to get more schools across the borough involved in the golfing foundation.