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Posted On: 2nd Sep 2014

Young Hearts Fix On ITV

Fixer Tobi Alabi
Tobi's heart is monitored in the broadcast piece
Dr Gerry Carr-White, Consultant Cardiologist

He used to be a professional footballer before his health played foul – now Tobi Alabi wants to help others spot the warning signs of heart conditions.

His story was broadcast on ITV News London on Thursday 4th September.


After collapsing on the pitch, Tobi is encouraging others to learn to recognise the symptoms of undiagnosed cardiac problems, which are thought to cause the deaths of around 600 young people a year.

'I used to be a pro footballer, playing for Millwall,' explains the 20-year-old from Bexley in South East London.

'But then I was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and it meant the end of my footballing career.

'I collapsed several times in my teens but one of the worst times was at a game last year.

'I remember being a bit blurry-eyed, very dizzy and short of breath and I almost knew it was going to happen.

'I wouldn't say I ignored the episodes – but due to a lack of education on the issue, I wasn't aware of how serious it was.'

Tobi, who would like to see more young people screened for cardiac issues, visits Dr Gerry Carr-White in the broadcast. He’s a Consultant Cardiologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals.

'The things to look out for are chest pain when you’re doing things, breathlessness, dizzy spells or blackouts, especially when exercising,’ says Dr Carr-White.

‘Also, feeling like your heart suddenly speeds up out of the blue.'

According to figures reported by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people aged 35 and under die from undiagnosed heart conditions every week in the UK.

With Fixers, Tobi is creating a film to raise awareness of the symptoms and show that it can affect anyone of any age.

'The one thing that would make me believe this project has been a success would be for an individual who has watched the video to stand up and say "I need to get screened," potentially saving a life in the process,' Tobi adds.

'That would make this Fixers project worthwhile.'

Help Fix It - Share this story!

When he was 23, Russell Baker's heart stopped functioning. He's been telling
his story on TV to promote the importance of cardiac screening.

Author: Cara Laithwaite

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Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and featured on ITV.

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