STARS 25th Anniversary
2018 marks 25 years since STARS was founded. What started as a small support and information group is now an international patient organisation that has helped thousands of people receive the correct diagnosis, treatment and support.
Trudie Lobban founded the STARS (Syncope Trust And Reflex anoxic Seizures) in 1993 at the request of Prof. John Stephenson, a paediatric neurologist who diagnosed her daughter, Francesca, as having Reflex Anoxic Seizures (RAS). Not wanting others to experience what her family had gone through to reach a diagnosis, Trudie agreed. The response that followed from other parents demonstrated the overwhelming need for information, support and guidance.
The initial belief that syncope was a childhood condition was soon proved incorrect when Trudie began to be contacted by people of all ages. She realised that there were vast numbers of people in the UK with unexplained loss of consciousness – many of these went on to be mis-diagnosed with epilepsy or other conditions. It soon became clear that syncope was a far wider issue than first thought.
STARS quickly gained recognition throughout the medical profession. STARS hosted its first Patient Day in 1994 with 100+ adults and 98 children! Within a few years we hosted the first International Medical Symposium on Syncope attracting over 100 clinicians with an interest in syncope, followed by a Patient Day – the first of its kind where many healthcare professionals attended a patient meeting! It is now an annual event with Patient Day held on the first day of Heart Rhythm Congress each year followed by medical symposium as part of HRC.
STARS began to hear from others in numerous countries and were soon launching websites in various languages to meet demand. STARS-US was established in 2007 as a result of increasing demand from patients and medical professionals in the USA. This arm of the charity has gone from strength to strength and Francesca is now Executive Director of STARS-US based in South Carolina.
It’s hard to believe that STARS is celebrating its 25th anniversary. We are so pleased to be part of this wonderful organisation, incredibly proud of how far we have come and what we have achieved.
STARS is recognised worldwide as the only organisation providing information, awareness, education and support to all those affected by syncope and related conditions.
We owe so much to you, our supporters, who give up your valuable time to fundraise and support others and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you – we couldn’t do this without you!
Trudie Lobban, Founder & CEO
Fast forward 25 years and the support and information group that was originally established is now an international patient organisation working together with the support of the STARS International Medical Advisory Committee. STARS is recognised worldwide as the only organisation providing information, awareness, education and support to all those affected by syncope and related conditions.
Trudie is now recognised as a world expert on all forms of syncope. She has been invited to present and participate regionally, nationally and internationally at medical and patient/carer meetings. She sits on a number of medical boards and steering groups in addition to being a council member of committees and advisory boards.
Our aim continues to be raising both public and professional awareness to the needs of patients with syncope and possibly an underlying, potential fatal arrhythmia (heart rhythm disorder).
Together we restore lives, in some cases we save lives too. Please remember, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SIMPLE FAINT.
Celebrate with STARS!
Click here to find out how you can get involved.