Education at the heart of stroke and heart disease prevention
The efforts of heart and stroke charity Croí in preventing death or disability from heart attack and stroke have received a welcome boost this week by way of a generous donation from local home care company Bluebird Care who have become a Croí Patient Education Partner for the coming year. The partnership aims to prevent heart attacks and strokes in the West of Ireland through patient education and awareness initiatives which will educate people on the risk factors for heart disease and stroke and signpost them to a healthier and longer life.
Managing Director of Bluebird Care in Galway, Sean Lyons says that losing his father to a heart attack at a young age gives him a greater appreciation for the work of Croí.
“I believe that if Croí was around when my father suffered his heart attack, he might probably be alive today. The services provided by the charity are invaluable not just in terms of after-care but also in terms of preventive education. The patient education programmes and activities which are being invested in by Bluebird Care aim to save lives and we are very proud to be part of it.”
Speaking at a reception in the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre, Croí CEO Neil Johnson said “support from local companies like Bluebird Care is vital for the continuation of our work as we rely totally on sponsorship partnerships such as this. We are delighted to receive this very welcome support from Bluebird Care whose work has synergies with the key messages we are trying to convey to those living with heart disease or stroke”
Johnson went on to say that “the work being undertaken at the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre aimed at risk factor reduction and supporting lifestyle and behaviour change is yielding measurable health benefits. The results being achieved have been independently verified as improving cardiovascular health and wellbeing with the added benefit of being cost saving to the health service”
Galway man Malachy Matthews who has taken part in one of Croí’s education programmes says it has ‘transformed’ his life. Malachy who had a mini stroke says it could be explained by a lifetime of not looking after himself that just caught up with him.
“I had effectively been loading my gun for many years, smoking, drinking and eating what I wanted without taking regular exercise and that day, my luck ran out. Attending Croí’s MyAction programme was life-changing, just as life-changing as the day I had my stroke.
“They re-calibrated my thinking about my own health and lifestyle, they educated me, but most of all they empowered me. I got great advice and help from a medical nurse, dietician and physiotherapist and they looked at all aspects of my loaded gun. I cannot thank them enough.”