TYRONE manager Mickey Harte yesterday launched the website of the Cormac Trust, which raises awareness of sudden cardiac death in the young.
The trust was set up after the death of former Tyrone captain Cormac McAnallen (24) from an undetected heart condition two years ago.
The trust has provided life-saving defibrillators in communities in the north west of Tyrone and has trained people in their use.
Mr Harte said it was a great privilege to launch the website, www.thecormactrust.com.
“It will raise awareness of heart conditions and awareness of who Cormac was, what he stood for and the example he set in his life,” he said.
“Cormac showed great qualities in his life which we would all do well to follow.
“He was a great and shining example of a good life well lived,” Mr Harte added.
Families whose loved ones died of sudden cardiac death (SCD) were represented at the launch, which was followed by an information session.
Gillian McFarlane’s 25-year-old brother Jonathan died suddenly of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy four years ago while three members of her extended family have also died of the genetic condition.
She praised Cormac’s mother Bridget for her work in publicising heart conditions in the young.
“She can understand the pain and heartache which we feel. We can try and get some good out of it by getting together like this,” she said.
Leading international heart specialist Professor William McKenna of the Heart Hosp-ital in London, who spoke
at the launch, said the website would be a valuable resource to families coming to terms with the loss of a child to SCD.
“This website will be the first port of call for families feeling lost, bereaved and alone when family, friends and neighbours don’t know how to help them,” he said.
Mrs McAnallen praised Prof McKenna for supporting bereaved families.
“He has been a great friend and help to so many families who have been bereaved.
“I have spoken to so many families in Ireland who have told me how he has gone out of his way to help,” she said.
She said the website would include a list of people who have died of SCD and medical advice on detection.
By Margaret Canning
(Irish News, 1 June 2006)