A SHIPSTON charity has been chosen to spearhead a national campaign to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

Arrhythmia Alliance The Heart Rhythm Charity has teamed up with former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba to launch Hearts and Goals, a yearlong campaign to raise awareness of the life-threatening condition.

The campaign comes after Bolton Wanderers chose Arrhythmia Alliance as its National Charity Partner for the 2012/13 season following Mr Muamba’s sudden cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie in March.

Trudie Lobban, who set up the charity from her kitchen after her daughter Francesca was diagnosed with the rare heart condition Reflex Anoxic Seizures (RAS) when she was 10 months old, said she was honoured to be part of it.

“What happened to Fabrice last season put the deadlypotential of heart rhythm disorders under a national spotlight,”

she said.

“Fabrice was extremely fortunate to benefit from immediate medical assistance of the highest calibre, and was still very fortunate to survive. Many thousands of other people are not so lucky.”

Mrs Lobban, who lives in Newbold- on-Stour, near Shipston, is recognised as a world expert in her field and the charity is now established in 30 countries. Her resolve to help others was further strengthened in 2008 when her husband Charles died from a sudden cardiac arrest, aged 58.

“This is something which has deeply affected my own life and I know the devastating effects only too well,” she added.

Communities across the country will be given access to 500 new defibrillators as well as CPR and defibrillator training so that lives can be saved.

Mr Muamba said: “I was staggered to find out that 100,000 people a year die from sudden cardiac arrest. Anyone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest who is treated with CPR and a defibrillator is 10 times more likely to survive than just having CPR alone.

“We have got a number of key initiatives, such as providing CPR training.

“I will be learning how to use an AED, and I hope that we can create something really good from this campaign.”