By HARRY CLARKE
POTENTIALLY life-saving heart scans will be provided free of charge at the Dalby Show this weekend as part of an initiative by Heart of Australia and the Eloise Gannon Foundation.
A Heart of Australia ‘mini mobile medical clinic’ will be set up at the Dalby Showgrounds on Saturday, April 15, offering free electrocardiogram (ECG) tests which detect potentially fatal heart arrhythmias.
The initiative is part of a nationwide awareness campaign by the Eloise Gannon Foundation, established in memory a beloved Brisbane teenager who tragically died of a sudden cardiac arrest in 2013.
Eloise Gannon was a fit and healthy 15-year-old girl who’d previously been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a condition which causes abnormal heartbeat, however doctors considered her to be at extremely low risk of having serious complications.
Following her passing, Eloise’s family established the foundation to help raise awareness of arrhythmia in the hope of preventing such tragedies for young Australians.
“The ECG does a snapshot of the rhythm of your heart at that time,” said Nikki Gannon, Eloise’s mother who founded the foundation alongside husband, Geoff.
“If our daughter, Eloise, hadn’t had an ECG we would never have known that she had an arrhythmia.
“The ECG is a way of diagnosing arrhythmia that some people may not even know they have because often the symptoms are nothing. You can palm them off to being anything other than some sort of problem with your heart.
“We’re particularly targeting the younger age group (14-35s) because, particularly with young, active people, it’s not something they they think could be a problem for them.”
Bookings for a free ECG at the Dalby Show on Saturday can be made HERE. The procedure will take about 15 minutes (in total) and results will be reviewed by a cardiologist.
“The actual ECG literally takes 5 minutes. You may have seen them in the hospital shows – they put those little sticky dots on your chest and they watch the rhythm of your heart,” Nikki Gannon said.
“Hopefully we don’t capture anybody in Dalby who has something wrong, but it’s a good practice in case someone does have something they don’t know about and they can go and investigate it further,” Nikki said.
“Sadly, cardiac arrest is the dreadful outcome of some arrhythmias.
“You hear of some people just dropping without warning while they’re playing sport. Quite often it’s because they’ve got an undiagnosed arrhythmia, which causes the electrical waves in the heart to sort of short circuit – it doesn’t beat properly and they sadly pass away.
“When that happened to Eloise we just felt that we had to do something to try and raise awareness about these conditions in young people.”
During the visit the Eloise Gannon Foundation will also be donating defibrillators to two local sporting clubs in Dalby.