Derry powerlifter urges young people to get their hearts checked

Waterside man Aaron Whoriskey being put through his paces at Energie Fitness Gym this week in preparation for his 60k World Championship event in Limerick in November. 2510JM11
Waterside man Aaron Whoriskey being put through his paces at Energie Fitness Gym this week in preparation for his 60k World Championship event in Limerick in November. 2510JM11

A Derry powerlifter, who was diagnosed with a heart defect has echoed calls for young people to have early cardiac screening as; “It saves lives.”

Last year Aaron Whoriskey was diagnosed with a hole in his heart and his brother, David, was found to have Wolfe Parkinson Whyte Syndrome, also known as Sudden Death Syndrome.

Last week Mark Durkan MP for Foyle campaigned for promising young athletes to be offered specialist cardiac screening at the outset of their careers. Mr. Durkan MP, said: “Every young death is a tragedy, but when it occurs in an apparently fit and healthy person the devastation is unbearable for families. Indeed, every day at least one family in the UK will suffer the trauma of losing a young person to an undiagnosed heart condition. I am therefore pleased to give my full support to Cardiac Risk in the Young in their campaign to develop a network of screening initiatives for grassroots athletes here in the North.”

Mr. Whoriskey, who is in the final preparations for the World Championships in Limerick on November 12, said: “It is defintely important for everyone to get checked out. Two years ago I was training and competing away with a heart defect.

“It was only that I had a random check up due to our family history that it was diagnosed. It could save a life.”

Aaron who is currently undergoing his “make or break training week,” said that; “Getting to the competition is a victory especially considering my heart issues and that I had to stop training but I dont want to go and not compete.

“I really want a medal but the important thing is that I don’t take my eye off the game plan.”

Aaron, despite his health issues is currently benchpressing 120kilos, and deadlifting 180kilos but he hopes to lift upwards of 260Kg by the time he contests the World Championships.

The full time Energie Fitness training instructor said: “I can’t thank my work enough they stood by me when I was diagnosed and now they are helping me in everyway they can ahead of the competition.”