RTE Broadcaster Michael Lyster joined forces with Longford trio Margaret Ward, Margaret O'Hara and Vera Flood to urge big-hearted volunteers to give a few hours of their time to help Irish Heart’s annual Happy Heart Appeal this May 12.
Croke Park provided the spectacular backdrop for the launch of this year’s volunteer drive and this May the national charity is encouraging 3,000 volunteers to help sell their iconic happy hearts and raise vital funds to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, which claims 5,000 lives in Ireland every year.
Volunteering his time to support the appeal, Michael stressed that he wouldn’t be here today if his wife hadn’t performed CPR when he suffered a cardiac arrest at home.
Michael said: “CPR saves lives – no-one knows this better than me. I collapsed with a cardiac arrest at home when my heart stopped beating. I wouldn’t be here today only for my wife Anne, who gave me CPR until an ambulance arrived. Without her pushing hard and fast on my chest, I would have been gone. But thanks to my wife and to CPR, I am alive here today. I’m one of the lucky ones and if more people know CPR, more lives like mine will be saved. So please, support Irish Heart and volunteer for their Happy Heart Appeal on May 12.”
Money raised for the Happy Heart Appeal will go towards Irish Heart’s CPR programmes to create lifesavers in every community in Ireland. Starting CPR can double a person’s chance of survival.
For more than 50 years, Irish Heart has been fighting heart disease and stroke and empowering the people of Ireland to live longer, happier lives.
Central to the mission of Irish Heart is to help save more lives from cardiac arrest through CPR training.
* 5,000 lives are lost every year in Ireland to sudden cardiac arrest - That’s 13 lives lost every day
* Starting CPR can double if not triple a person’s chance of survival
* In the event of a collapse from cardiac arrest, every minute is vital
* Without CPR or defibrillation, the chance of survival falls by up to 10 percent a minute
* After just 5 minutes, that person may only have a 50 percent chance of survival
* Cardiac arrest could happen to someone at work, in your community, or at home so it’s essential to know exactly what to do, and be confident in doing it, according to Irish Heart.
Kate O’Reilly, National Campaigns Manager at Irish Heart said: “This year’s Happy Heart Appeal target is €500,000 – a 40% increase on last year – and these vital funds ensure that we can continue to provide essential CPR training to every community in Ireland. If a loved one or someone you know goes into a sudden cardiac arrest, you are their main chance of survival. Not a passer-by. You and your hands. CPR saves lives and so do volunteers. Now more than ever, we need more volunteers for our Happy Hearts Appeal, so that we can raise funds for programmes like our vital CPR training. Join us and volunteer on May 12th to keep more hearts beating, because we desperately need more lifesavers.”
If you’d like to support the Happy Heart Appeal by volunteering a few hours of your time and selling pins on Friday, May 12, simply log on to www.irishheart.ie/happyhearts