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Mary Desmond Vasseghi

Sudden Cardiac Death in the Young / Level 2

Awardee 2009

Myles McCorry
Helene Hugel

Working towards making Ireland a heart safe country and reducing the risk of of Sudden Cardiac Death in the young by developing a high quality, affordable Heart Check system.

In May 2005 Darius Vasseghi, aged 18, dropped dead on the bathroom floor when his heart stopped suddenly and without warning. He died from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. He appeared to be a fit and healthy young man, had undergone annual checkups but no specific heart check. Mary, his mother, discovered that, on average, two young people under the age of 35 die every week in Ireland from Sudden Cardiac Death, causing immeasurable devastation to families and communities. However, she also discovered that many conditions leading to Sudden Cardiac Death can be diagnosed and treated.

Mary set up the Sudden Cardiac Death in the Young support group in 2006 to support affected families and effect change. Support is provided through an informal network offering information on Sudden Cardiac Death, as well as providing direction to formal bereavement support and family screening centres.

Through her work on this issue, Mary realised more could be done and committed to reducing the risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the young by developing a high quality, affordable Heart Check system in Ireland. Based on international models, where screening has reduced Sudden Cardiac Death by 89%, she now aims to set up mobile screening facilities for preventive screening and is advocating for defibrillator placement and specialist CPR training nationwide.

I am dedicated to reducing the risk of sudden cardiac death in the young and making Ireland a Heart Safe country.

Mary Desmond Vasseghi

Mary Desmond Vasseghi, Elevator Award, 2009

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