Official Opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at UHG

Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, recently funded the furnishing and redesign of a new family room for the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. The Coronary Care Unit is a specialist unit for patients recovering after a heart attack or with other serious heart conditions. It is the primary heart unit for the Saolta Hospital Group and patients from all parts of the West and North West of the country are cared for there.

Commenting on the importance of the new family room, hospital manager Ms Chris Kane said, “Many of the patients treated in the Coronary Care Unit arrive by ambulance or helicopter with little time to prepare for a hospital stay. They come from all parts of the country and having a family room available makes a huge difference to the families who may travel long distances to the hospital in stressful situations. We are very appreciative of the support from Croí which made the new family room possible.”

Rosetta Reilly from Co Cavan who spent time in the family room earlier this year while her mother was under the care of the Coronary Care Unit said, “Our family were delighted to have use of the Croí Family Room for the duration of our mother’s six night hospital stay. I was here every day and the rest of the family visited daily from Cavan. We were able to have a cup of tea together between visits to the Coronary Care Unit and I was able to rest here too. Living so far from the hospital, it was fantastic to have a home away from home which allowed us to be close to our mother.”

Christine Flanagan, Croí’s Director of Fundraising said, “We are proud of the beautiful space that has been created with the Croí Family Room. Part of our mission here at Croí is to support families faced with heart disease or stroke, and we wanted to provide a calming space for families going through a difficult time as their loved ones receive care in University Hospital Galway.”

To redesign the family space in the hospital, Croí joined up with Interior Designer Rosie O’Connell, who generously donated her time for the project. “Rosie collaborated with the team at the hospital and really helped transform the room into a calm space for families to recharge,” says Flanagan.

“Croí’s work is entirely funded from the proceeds of fundraising events, voluntary contributions and philanthropy. The Croí Family Room refurbishment was made possible thanks to generous donations to Croí’s Patient and Family Support Services fund. Other Croí Patient and Family Support Services include free accommodation in the Courtyard Apartments at Croí, where families can stay close to a loved one who is undergoing surgery or receiving stroke or cardiac care at Galway University Hospital. To learn more about Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, visit www.croi.ie.”

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Dr Briain MacNeill, Consultant Cardiologist; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospitals (GUH); and Geraldine Murray, Director of Nursing, GUH at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the hospital’s Coronary Care Unit.
Dr Briain MacNeill, Consultant Cardiologist; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospitals (GUH); and Geraldine Murray, Director of Nursing, GUH at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the hospital’s Coronary Care Unit.
Rosemary Walsh, Assistant Director of Nursing; Sinead Duke, Nurse Manager Coronary Care Unit; Christine Flanagan, Fundraising Director, Croí and Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. Photo: Brian Harding.
Rosemary Walsh, Assistant Director of Nursing; Sinead Duke, Nurse Manager Coronary Care Unit; Christine Flanagan, Fundraising Director, Croí and Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí at the official opening of the Croí Family Room in the Coronary Care Unit at University Hospital Galway. Photo: Brian Harding.

Spooktacular Healthy Halloween Recipes!

This time of year, treats can sometimes takeover Halloween festivities. The supermarkets are stocked to the rafters with Halloween themed, high sugar and high fat treats. It can be difficult to say ‘no’ when we are surrounded by these foods at the petrol station, local shop or supermarket.  A recent report by Safefood has found that we now spend more on treat foods than fruit and vegetables in our weekly shop. We also know that 20% of what Irish children are eating day to day are treat foods. The healthy eating guidelines recommend that treat foods (e.g. biscuits, chocolate and crisps) be limited to no more than two times per week.

So this year why not take a different approach and use the time to get creative in the kitchen. It may even be the perfect opportunity to ‘trick’ 😉 children to experiment with different types of vegetables, if cooked or prepared in a fun and super spooky way!

Here are some vegetable based Halloween recipes for you to try. Not only will you have fun preparing them, you and your children will be ‘treated’ to better nutrition. The ingredients in these recipes provide the right balance of vitamins, minerals and fibre that help to maintain a healthy blood pressure, lower cholesterol and prevent weight gain, for a happy healthy heart this Halloween!

Ingredients:

  • 4 peppers (a mix of orange, red and yellow looks nice)
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small aubergine, chopped into small pieces
  • 200g pouch pre cooked mixed grains (we used bulgur wheat and quinoa, available in most supermarkets)
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste/pesto
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • bunch basil, chopped

Method:

  1. Cut the tops off the peppers (keeping the tops to one side) and remove the seeds and any white flesh from inside. Use a small sharp knife to carve spooky Halloween faces into the sides. Chop any offcuts into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for a few mins until golden, and set aside. Heat the oil in the pan, and heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cook the onion in the oil for 8-10 mins until softened.
  3. Stir in the garlic, pepper offcuts and aubergine and cook for another 10 mins, until the veggies are soft. Add a splash of water if the pan looks dry. Season.
  4. Squeeze the pouch of grains to break them up, then tip into the pan with the tomato paste. Stir for a minute or two to warm through, then remove from the heat and add the lemon zest, basil and pine nuts.
  5. Fill each pepper with the grain mixture. Replace the lids, using cocktail sticks to secure them in place
  6. Put the peppers in a deep roasting tin with the carved faces facing upwards.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 35 mins, uncovered for the final 10.
  8. The peppers should be soft and the filling piping hot.

Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com

Halloween Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin (about 500g)
  • olive oil, for roasting
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste (Made from ground sesame seeds)
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded, and sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded, and sliced
  • mini breadsticks and pitta chips, to serve

Method:

  1. Cut the top off the pumpkin, about two-thirds of the way up. Remove the pumpkin seeds, then scoop the flesh out of the bottom and the lid.
  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the pumpkin flesh into pieces and put in a roasting tin with the garlic and a good glug of oil. Season, then bake for 45 mins until very tender. Leave to cool.
  3. Tip the pumpkin into a food processor with any juices from the roasting tin and the garlic. Add the lemon juice, tahini paste and chickpeas. Season with salt and blend to a paste – add a little more oil if it’s too thick. Scoop the hummus back into the pumpkin and serve with the peppers, breadsticks and pitta chips.

 

Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com

Pumpkin Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of desiccated, shredded coconut
  • 2 raisins – for eyes!

Method

  1. Put the orange juice in a shallow bowl or plate
  2. On a separate plate spread the shredded coconut – not too much a little goes a long way
  3. Peel your banana and dip it in the orange juice
  4. Next, roll the banana in the shredded coconut to make white spooky ghosts!
  5. Add some raisins for the eyes
  6. Place the stick or spoon up through the centre of the banana so the Boonana can fly around!

Image credit: nts.org.uk

Boonanas
  1. Peel a clementine, leaving the sections intact.
  2. Cut a small piece of celery and stick it in the middle to be a stem.

There you have it: simple, mini pumpkins, great as a display on the table.

Recipe from Shape Your Future

Halloween Stuffed Peppers
Halloween Stuffed Peppers
Pumpkin Hummus
Pumpkin Hummus
Boonanas
Boonanas
Clementine Pumpkins
Clementine Pumpkins

FREE Heart Health Checks in Ballina for 65+ year olds

The Key to Healthy Ageing is a Healthy Heart says Croí – Announcing FREE Heart Health Checks for 65+ year olds

Date: Wednesday, November 13th
Location: Great National Hotel, Ballina, Co. Mayo

The key to healthy ageing is a healthy heart. Understandably, ageing naturally causes changes in the heart and blood vessels and these age-related changes often increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. People aged 65+ are much more likely than younger people to develop heart problems, but many of these conditions, if detected and treated early, can be managed so as to significantly reduce their impact on health and longevity.

In today’s world, thanks to medical and technological innovation, we are living longer. By the year 2050, 1 in 5 people worldwide will be over the age of 60 years of age. In fact, for the first time in human history we are close to a time when across the world there will be more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 15. The Croí Third Age Programme is focused on our increasingly ageing society and the aim is to ensure that as we live longer we also maintain our health and quality of life. The greatest barrier to this is age-related cardiovascular diseases. That’s why on June 19th, local heart and stroke charity, Croí, is offering free heart health checks at the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre in Newcastle, Galway.

So, if you are over the age of 65Not attending a cardiologist, and have Not had a heart health check in the past 6 months (e.g., blood pressure check / your heart listened to), then Croí invites you to this special FREE heart health check.

Places are limited and you must register in advance.
Time slots are available from 10.00am – 5.00pm.

Reserve your space now by calling Croí on 091-544310.

 

Reserve your space now by calling Croí on 091-544310.

iASPIRE – Nationwide Study of Irish Heart Attack Survivors Shows Persistent Behaviours Which Drastically Increase Risk of Further Heart Attack

39% of heart attack survivors are obese, 40% still have high blood pressure and 56% do not have their cholesterol controlled up to 24 months after attack

44% of survivors didn’t get flu vaccine last year, despite flu being a trigger for heart attacks

43% of smokers with heart attacks continue to smoke

Today, the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health in Galway, revealed that a new nationwide study of Irish patients who have survived a recent heart attack shows that while some have tried to change their habits, many aren’t succeeding in minimising the risk factors which contributed to the heart attack in the first place.  

 

  • 43% of those who smoked at the time of the heart attack are still smoking up to 24 months later[1]
  • 39% are obese up to 24 months after
  • 50% have central obesity which is where the fat is concentrated around the waist (Waist circumference >=102 cm for men or >=88 cm for women)
  • Of those who were obese, more than 30% had never been told that they were overweight by a medical professional
  • 31% never or rarely take regular activity long enough to work up a sweat
  • 40% still have raised blood pressure; despite nearly 22% measuring their blood pressure at home
  • 56% didn’t reach the goal of reducing their LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol to below 1.8mmol/L[2]
  • Of those with diabetes, 39% didn’t manage to reach the recommended blood sugar level goal of % HbA1c<7%
  • 44% didn’t get the flu vaccine last year
  • 87% were attending a cardiac prevention or rehabilitation programme for at least half of the sessions  
  • There was wide variability in risk factor control across the 9 sites, suggesting that a standardized national cardiovascular prevention programme would be one solution to the generally poor control of risk factors seen among Irish heart attach survivors.

“This research shows that in certain aspects our health system is making a positive difference to the lives of patients who have recently survived a heart attack.  However, many patients are still struggling with blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, exercise and smoking cessation issues,” said Prof. Bill McEvoy, Professor of Preventive Cardiology, NUI Galway and Medical and Research Director, National Institute for Prevention of Cardiovascular Health at the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre (NIPC).

“Survival of a heart attack is a second chance at life, but only if risk factors are managed.  While we’re seeing better lifestyle habits in some patients, a considerable proportion – if not half – of Irish heart attack survivors are still not making the changes required to prolong their lives. The health system also needs to do more to standardize care for these patients,” concluded Prof. McEvoy.

 


[1] Overall just under 10% of the group were currently smokers, but the 43% represents patients who continued to smoke after a heart attack.

[2] LDL is sometimes referred to as the ‘bad’ cholesterol which leads to a build-up of cholesterol in the arteries

 

‘Dig deep and support Croí!’ – Apartment Testimonial

Read this lovely testimonial which was left to us recently by Bernie McCaffrey, who stayed in the Courtyard Apartments at Croí House while her husband, Eddie, was receiving coronary care at Galway University Hospital.

“My Husband, Eddie, and I were enjoying a wonderful holiday in Canada. Eddie, who was always a healthy and fit man, just turned 60, had a heart attack and was hospitalised in Calgary, Canada for 9 days. He was then taken by air ambulance back to Ireland and admitted to Galway University Hospital. I travelled with him and arrived in Galway with a very ill husband and nowhere to stay. The nurse in Coronary Care put me in contact with Christine in Croí. From the moment I met Christine, I was so well taken care of. I was accommodated in a lovely, cosy and comfortable apartment, with secure entry gates. This was such a comfort to me while I was completely alone and so worried about Eddie.

Initially I was supposed to stay for 5 days but because of complications with my husband’s surgery, this turned into 13 nights. I was never made feel I was outstaying my welcome. The kindness and support I was shown by Christine and all the staff was second to none. I was able to walk to the hospital in 10/15 minutes with no worries about car parking or the expense of it. There is a well-equipped laundry room, very essential for patients’ clothing.

My husband had a triple bypass and is recovering well, thank God.

All of this wonderful work and facilities are totally dependent on voluntary donations. I have been involved in many fundraisers, but can honestly say, I have never seen money being put to such good use. Come on, dig deep and support Croí!”

– Bernie McCaffrey

The Courtyard Apartments at Croí House are funded entirely by donations and fundraising events organised by Croí and community fundraisers. We could not provide these facilities without the generosity of the people of Ireland, particularly those in the West and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their incredible and continuing support.

For more information about the Courtyard Apartments at Croí House –

Visit: www.croi.ie/courtyardapartments 

Tel: +353 91 544310

Email: info@croi.ie

Sold-out Night Run raises €70k for Croí!

The sold-out 5th Annual Croí Night Run took place last Friday (October 11) along the Salthill Prom in Galway. Over 1,500 runners and walkers, including 16 local corporate teams, came out in support of Croí’s largest fundraising event of the year. This year virtual runners even took part in the event, running the Night Run from Longford and Chicago! Croí is thrilled to announce that over €70,000 was raised, a new record. 100% of the proceeds will go to support Croí’s life-saving work in the community and at Croí Centre, thanks to the continued sponsorship of Evergreen Healthfoods.

The race was chip-timed and participants can check out their race time at croi.ie/nightrun. Keeping it close to home, Daragh O’Reilly, son of Kevin O’Reilly – Croí’s Board Chairman, crossed the finish line first with an incredible time of 16:55! Photos from the event are posted to Croí’s Facebook page @croiheartstroke.

“We are so overwhelmed by the incredible response this year! To sell-out in our 5th year is fantastic and we are already planning for a bigger and better event again next year. Let’s get 2,020 runners on the Prom for 2020! We’re so grateful to all our participants, volunteers and our generous sponsors Evergreen Healthfoods and iRadio for making this our biggest year yet. Every euro raised will go directly to supporting the work at Croí and the fight against heart disease and stroke,” says Christine Flanagan, Croí’s Fundraising Director.

Stay tuned for 2020! Due to the incredible demand this year, we will be adding extra spaces for 2020 and opening our registration early. Save the date for Friday, October 9, 2020.

 

See croi.ie for more information and follow Croí on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @croiheartstroke.

5th Annual Croí Night Run
5th Annual Croí Night Run
5th Annual Croí Night Run_ (57)

World Stroke Day Event at Croí Centre

In recognition of World Stroke Day on Tuesday, October 29th, Croí, the heart and stroke charity, hosted a Public Talk and Short Film screening to help raise awareness of stroke and offer information to stroke survivors.

This FREE event included a talk by Dr. Tom Walsh, Stroke Specialist, Galway University Hospital and a local Galway stroke survivor, followed by a special screening of the award-winning documentary, A Tiny Spark.

In Ireland, approximately 10,000 people have a stroke-related event annually and an estimated 30,000 people are living in Ireland with disabilities as a result of a stroke. Croí’s World Stroke Day event aimed to highlight the risk factors associated with stroke and to provide helpful information for those living with, and recovering from, a stroke.

The Galway-based documentary, A Tiny Spark, produced by Swansong Films, examines the effect of stroke on people’s lives and looks at research into the blood clots that cause stroke. The documentary is about ground-breaking research being conducted by neuroscientist Dr. Karen Doyle at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway and was made under the ‘Science on Screen’ partnership with Galway Film Centre.

‘A Tiny Spark’ is available to watch on RTÉ Player until the end of November, 2019

This event was proudly supported by Ballinasloe-based company Surmodics, who are community partners to the Croí’s stroke programme.

Supported by:

Community Partner to Croí Stroke Programme

                  

FREE CPR Training with Croí!

To celebrate World Restart a Heart Day, Croí is holding a FREE CPR training evening!

Date: Wednesday, October 16th
Time: 19:00 – 21:30
Location: Croí House

Training delivered by Sarah Molloy, a CCU nurse and the lead instructor for the Centre for Lifesaving Training here at Croí House. Note: You will not receive certification for this training.

Places are limited – book now by calling Dylan on 091-893506.

Ballinasloe Heart Health Event

Join Croí for a Ballinasloe Heart Health Event

Free public talk with heart experts, plus heart health checks

The key to healthy ageing is a healthy heart. That’s why local Heart & Stroke Charity, Croí, is coming to Ballinasloe to host a free Public Talk ‘Listen to Your Heart …The Key to Healthy Ageing’ on Wednesday, October 23rd at 7.00pm in the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway.

This event is part of the Croí Third Age Programme, which is a healthy ageing initiative aimed at improving health and longevity. So come along and learn how to keep your heart healthy as you age.

Guest speakers include:

  • Dr. Aidan Flynn, Consultant Cardiologist, Portiuncula Hospital;
  • Catherine Nolan, Heart Failure Clinical Nurse Specialist, Portiuncula Hospital;
  • Dr. Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist, Galway University Hospital.

Everyone welcome but places are limited at this free event, so early booking is advised. To reserve your place, call Croí now on 091- 544310.

PLUS! Free Heart Health Checks

Croí is offering free heart health checks for 65+ year olds on Wednesday, October 23rd at the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe.

So, if you are over the age of 65, Not attending a cardiologist, and have Not had a heart health check in the past 6 months (e.g., blood pressure check / your heart listened to), contact Croí now to register for this FREE heart health check.

Time slots for the heart health checks are available from 9:30am – 4:30pm. Places are limited and you must register in advance. Reserve your space now by calling Croí on 091-544310.

Health checks supported by: