Dad waiting on heart transplant praises IHF supports

A father-of-two waiting on a heart transplant, has urged other heart patients to embrace new supports set up by the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF).

Dan O’Brien, 47, from Artane in North Dublin, collapsed at work in October 2018 and later learned he had inherited a condition which affects the rhythm of his heartbeat.

As Covid-19 restrictions place an added strain on patients, the IHF has increased its supports to aid patients and their families to keep well at home both physically and mentally.

These include a new podcast series presented by retired RTE presenter Michael Lyster, who has experienced heart failure, online meetings, daily exercise and peer to peer support.

Dan revealed: “I find the Heart Support Network very positive. I have shared my own experience with people and I have read the experiences of others in a similar situation.

“In particular, I find the supports very good for people’s mental health. I have learned a lot and I would say it has given me a great sense of purpose.”

Dan, who is among an estimated 25,200 people living with heart failure in the capital, collapsed at Dublin Airport where he works with the Airport Authority.

He was brought to Beaumont Hospital where he learned that he had inherited ventricular tachycardia.

At first, the condition was controlled with medication and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) but, last November, Dan learned he will need a heart transplant and has been put on a waiting list.

Following his initial stay in hospital, he came in contact with Lucinda McNerney, the Irish Heart Foundation’s Heart Failure Programme Manager, and found the support that she and the charity offers very helpful.

“Patients with heart failure and other cardiac conditions have real fears and a sense of isolation during the current climate of escalating Covid cases,” said Ms McNerney.

“With almost 2,800 new cases diagnosed in Dublin in every year, the Foundation’s new support service will help thousands of people to live normal, full and active lives with their condition.”

It allows people to access regular information sessions on topics such as medication, lifestyle changes, self-management and diet.

To sign up to receive the supports visit www.irishheart.ie or contact Lucinda McNerney, Heart Failure Programme Manager on 01 668 5001 or at heartfailure@irishheart.ie.

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