Heartlink West

Call: 091 544310

Monday – Friday

9am – 5:30pm

Heartlink West is Croí’s FREE helpline for those living with, or affected by, heart disease and stroke. When you call Heartlink West, you will be connected with one of our cardiac nurse specialists or join a virtual health chat.

Call the Croí Health Team if you have concerns relating to:

  • Concerned about COVID-19?
  • Afraid to visit your doctor, nurse or hospital?
  • Recently had a procedure or just discharged from hospital?
  • Had an appointment or procedure cancelled or postponed?
  • Generally concerned about your heart health?

Please be aware that Croí resources are intended solely for individuals seeking general information and advice and are not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor. We are fully compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (May 2018) to strengthen data protection for all within the EU. Should you chose to submit personal and sensitive information, this information is protected by a secure system both online and offline.

Heartlink West Virtual Chat

The Heartlink West Virtual Chat will take place every Thursday, over Zoom, at 11am. For more information and to access the chat, email healthteam@croi.ie.

See below for the schedule:

Heartlink West Virtual Chat Schedule

  • 11/03/2021 – Eating for a Healthy Cholesterol.
  • 18/03/2021 – Cholesterol: What is it? What should it be? How to record it. Tips to reduce it.
  • 25/03/2021 – Eating for Weight Management.
  • 01/04/2021 – Risk Factors for Heart Health.
  • 08/04/2021 – Understanding Food Labels.
  • 15/04/2021 – Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke.
  • 22/04/2021 – Atrial Fibrillation: What is it? How do I know I have it? How to check your pulse and treatment.
  • 29/04/2020 – Stress Management.

Croí Connects

Croí Connects is an online series, where Croí will connect with medical experts for a questions and answers session to help answer your questions on heart disease, stroke, COVID-19 and lots more.

Resources

Jump to section:

Heart Conditions:

Stroke:

Have you or a loved one survived a stroke? Join Croí’s Stroke Support Groups online each month.

  • The Croí Galway Stroke Support Group meets virtually via Zoom on the second Thursday of every month at 2:00pm.
  • The Croí Mayo Stroke Support Group meets virtually via Zoom on the last Thursday of every month at 11.30am.

If you want to join and have not used Zoom before, Croí can help. Call us on 091 544310 or email healthteam@croi.ie to receive meeting details and technical support.

Risk factors you can change:

Risk Factors you cannot change:

Healthy Eating:

Home Workouts:

Mental Health & Wellbeing:

Booklet Resources:

Click to download

An initiative by Croí, endorsed by Cardiology Services, HSE Saolta University Healthcare Group.

To date, this initiative has been made possible thanks to the very generous support of the following:

Call: 091 544310

Or email: healthteam@croi.ie

Discover The Beauty Of Ireland’s West Coast With Croí’s Couch To Wild Atlantic Way!

Join Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, this St. Patrick’s Day on a virtual mission and discover Ireland’s stunning West Coast with Croí’s Couch to Wild Atlantic Way. Embrace the Wild Atlantic Way of life by running, walking or jogging part of this spectacular coastal route over the next six weeks on this virtual mission. Your progress will be tracked through an interactive map, where people can sponsor you along your way.

“We launched this event last year to give people an exciting virtual mission in support of Croí, while adhering to the guidelines. Our interactive Wild Atlantic Way map connects people with the beautiful west coast, even from their local 5km,” says Croí’s Fundraising Director, Christine Flanagan.

Demand for Croí services has increased throughout the pandemic, with Croí responding to the needs of those living with heart disease and stroke with a range of new services, including a free telephone helpline, Heartlink West; virtual stroke support groups; virtual fitness classes; and online webinars and health chats.

“We hope you will join us on this virtual mission. Your support is vital to Croí– every euro raised will help the fight against heart disease and stroke,” says Flanagan.

Couch to Wild Atlantic Way T-Shirts
Couch to Wild Atlantic Way T-Shirts

Registration is just €15, and all registrants receive an eco-friendly Couch to Wild Atlantic Way medal, PLUS participants who raise over €50 will receive a Wild Atlantic Way t-shirt!

Register now at www.croi.ie/waw. Let’s fight heart disease and stroke together, one step at a time.

COVID-19: Advice for individuals living with heart disease or stroke

The Croí Health Team is here as always if you need support. Contact us by email at healthteam@croi.ie or call 091-544310.

Updated February 5th

What do the latest restrictions mean?

Stay at home – Ireland is at level 5.
Read about the current government restrictions on gov.ie

At Level 5, the public health risk means that you will be asked to stay at home, except for travel for work, education or other essential purposes, or to take exercise within 5km of home. There will be no gatherings other than small numbers at funerals and weddings. No visitors are permitted in private homes or gardens except for essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble.

Reminder: 

  • Washing your hands properly and often will help to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wearing a face covering reduces the spread of COVID-19. It also helps stop the spread of the virus from people who may not know they have it. By law, you have to wear a face covering on public transport in shops, shopping centres and some other indoor settings. You should also wear a face covering when staying 2 metres apart from people is difficult and in busy outdoor spaces where a lot of people gather.

Covid-19 Vaccinations 

Should I get the vaccine?

COVID-19 (coronavirus) is a highly infectious disease which can cause serious illness, hospitalisation and even death.

COVID-19 vaccines offer protection from COVID-19. If you do catch COVID-19 after vaccination, you should be protected from the serious illness the virus can sometimes cause.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is not mandatory. But we strongly recommend that you get your vaccine when it’s offered to you.

People who are most at risk from COVID-19 will be vaccinated first.

There’s no charge for getting your COVID-19 vaccine. It’s free. You can not get it privately.

When will I be vaccinated?

The HSE has begun its vaccination campaign. Currently they are vaccinating the following groups of people:

  • People aged 65 years and older who live in long-term care facilities – they have a greater risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19.
  • Frontline healthcare workers – they have a higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

The next group to be vaccinated will be people aged 85 and older. This is due to start later this month.

For further information on when you are likely to receive you vaccine, see here.

Is the vaccine safe?

The work to develop COVID-19 vaccines moved much faster than usual to make them available as soon as possible.

They have still gone through all the usual steps needed to develop a safe and effective vaccine. No short-cuts were taken.

COVID-19 vaccines could be developed quicker than usual because:

  • There was huge, global investment into their research.
  • The high number of new cases of COVID-19 across the world meant the vaccine trials could quickly measure differences in disease risk.
  • Large scale manufacturing of vaccines started before the results of trials were available.
  • Regulators and those developing the vaccines started their conversations very early so, the authorisation process could be as quick as possible.

For further information about the COVID-19 vaccines licensed for use in Ireland, see here.

More Information

A message from Prof. Bill McEvoy, Consultant Cardiologist

A message from Prof. Bill McEvoy, Consultant Cardiologist, Medical and Research Director National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health, Croí Heart and Stroke Centre.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on all our lives. While we still have much to learn about this disease and the virus that causes it, we do know that adults with underlying medical conditions – inclusive of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease – tend to have worse outcomes and become sicker when stricken by COVID-19. This is particularly true for adults over 70 years. While the death rate from this infection is less than 1% for most people, it can rise to 5-10% among the very old and those with many underlying medical conditions. Therefore, this is a serious disease that deserves ongoing our attention and vigilance.

One of the less known issues with COVID-19 is that it can result in complications among infected adults who were previously healthy. While these adults have a very high chance of surviving the infection (over 99%), they are consequently vulnerable to any long-term side effects and complications from the virus. Without doubt, these long-term complications appear to be UNCOMMON; however, they do exist. For example, we know that, in rare cases, COVID-19 can injure the heart (leading to damage from a condition called myocarditis or ‘type 2 myocardial infarction’). The frequency with which these cardiac complications happen, the exact reasons why they happen (hypothesized to be related to inflammation or an increased propensity for blood clotting among those infected), and the reversibility or responsiveness to treatment of these complications remains an open question. Long-term complications in other body organs have been reported also, so this concern is not just unique to the heart.

Therefore, until these questions are answered, I encourage you all, even if young and healthy, to take this disease seriously. If you do get infected, your chances of a complete recovery are very high. We should not live in fear. However, why take any chances, everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of this virus and if we all take collective responsibility we will minimise the risk for everyone.

Key Messages

The key messages remain the same. We need to Stay Safe.

  • Physical distancing should continue to be maintained at all times.
  • Continue to follow good hand washing, respiratory hygiene and physical distancing because we know these work and are now more important than ever.
  • Face coverings are now required on public transport and should be worn in shops and shopping centres and in situations where physical distancing is not possible. For further guidelines and information about how to correctly fit/ remove face mask visit the HSE website.
  • If you have cold or flu like symptoms, even mild ones, it is important to isolate at home and call your GP
  • People over 70 years and the extremely medically vulnerable, remain at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and are advised to take extra caution. This includes people living with cardiovascular disease.  It is important that you continue to attend essential medical services such as GPs and receive medical care at home (if appropriate) to protect your health and wellbeing.

Is there any specific advice for individuals living with heart disease or stroke?

For heart and stroke patients, prevention is key. While it is normal to feel anxious about how this condition might affect you, you are at no greater risk of developing COVID-19 than anyone else. However if you do contract the virus you have a higher chance of developing complications.

As you are at higher risk of a more serious illness if you contract Coronavirus, you are being advised to stay at home as much as possible and to limit your social contact. We strongly urge you to take extra care in ensuring you follow all of the recommended precautions. Please see advice below regarding cocooning.

While all individuals with underlying cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of complications if affected by COVID-19, those at greatest risk include individuals who have:

  • Had a heart transplant
    • At any time in the past or more recently.
  • Are pregnant with a heart condition
    • Lung viruses can cause severe illness in pregnant women, particularly those with an underlying heart condition.
      • Heart conditions include: symptomatic coronary disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (if it affects your heart function), thickening of the heart muscle (left ventricular hypertrophy, pulmonary hypertension, a moderate / severely narrowed or leaking heart valve, heart failure that affects your left ventricular function, or significant congenital heart disease.
  • Had recent open heart surgery
    • Including coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG) and valve repair or replacement.
  • Heart failure
    • Especially if you have been recently diagnosed, it affects your activities of daily living or you have been recently hospitalised for treatment.
  • Heart valve disease
    • Where this is severe disease or you have ongoing symptoms or are awaiting valve surgery.
    • A heart murmur in itself where you do not have symptoms or not diagnosed with valve disease does not increase your risk.
  • Congenital heart disease
    • There are many types, but in particular if you have complex disease or have other underlying conditions increasing your vulnerability.
  • Cardiomyopathy
    • Any type if you have ongoing symptoms or your daily activities are limited.
  • Angina
    • That limits your daily activities or means you have to use your GTN spray frequently.
  • Heart disease with other health conditions such as chronic kidney disease and lung disease.

With the emphasis being on minimising contact outside the home, it is still important to maintain your healthy lifestyle habits and not to disregard your usual exercise routine. As it may not be possible to continue outdoors, please visit the Croí website for lots of helpful health tips and advice to keep you on track.

Refill your medication prescription as normal and have over the counter medications such as paracetamol and a thermometer in your home. There is no disruption to the supply of medicines and therefore there is no need to order more medicines than you need.  Ask a family member to collect any medicines you need. If you do feel unwell, it’s still really important to carry on taking any medication you’ve been prescribed and speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Look after your emotional health and well-being. Any unexpected changes to our daily lives can be a source of stress and COVID -19 is no different. It is important to obtain information from reputable sources and focus on the facts rather than opinions on social media.

Cocooning

What is cocooning?

Cocooning is a recommendation from the HSE and the Irish government to protect those who are most at risk of developing serious complications if they contract the COVID-19 virus. Cocooning aims to minimize interaction between those most at risk and others.

What should I do?

  • Try to stay at home as much as possible.
  • Avoid physical contact with other people.
  • Limit your social interactions to a small social group for short periods of time – this is sometimes called a “social bubble”.
  • People who visit to help care for you should still attend as long as they have no symptom’s of COVID-19. Ask them to wash their hands on arrival and when possible keep 2 meters apart.
  • Avoid anyone who is sick. If you usually have carers, have a backup plan in case one of them becomes unwell.
  • You can ask your family to keep in touch with you via WhatsApp, video or social media so you don’t miss out.
  • If you need to contact your GP, use the telephone.
  • You may leave the house to get fresh air or exercise within 5km of your home, if social distancing is observed.

 Do I need to Cocoon?

The HSE have advised the following people to cocoon:

  • people aged 70 years or over
  • solid organ transplant recipients (including heart transplant)
  • people with specific cancers, rare diseases, respiratory conditions
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

In addition to HSE recommendations, international cardiac societies advise people living with the following conditions to cocoon:

  • Heart conditions include symptomatic coronary disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (if it affects your heart function)
  • Had recent open heart surgery
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve disease– that is moderate or severe
  • Significant congenital heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy-any type if you have ongoing symptoms or your daily activities are limited
  • Those with Angina that limits your daily activities or means you have to use your GTN spray frequently

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The main symptoms to watch out for are:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Loss of taste or sense of smell

Other symptoms are fatigue, headaches, sore throat, aches and pains. But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are concerned you should contact your GP for further advice.

How to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19

Coronavirus is spread by droplet infection – coughing and sneezing or by close contact with someone who has the virus. As it’s a new illness, we do not know how easily the virus spreads from person to person. Spread is most likely from those who have symptoms.

In accordance with recent guidelines, people should stay at home as much as possible to limit close contacts. You should only leave home to:

  • Go to work
  • Take children to school or childcare
  • Go to shops for essential supplies
  • Care for others
  • Attend hospital and medical appointments
  • Avoid hand shaking and close contact with people- keep a distance of 2 meters (6.5 feet) between you and others
  • Work from home if, and where possible
  • Make a joint plan with family friends and neighbours on what to do if you become ill

Travel

Self-quarantine and self-isolation

  • To help stop the spread of Coronavirus, you may need to either self-quarantine or self-isolate:
    • Self-quarantine means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. You will need to do this if you are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus and you are still well.
    • Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people. You will need to do this if you have symptoms of coronavirus.

Other Do's and Don't's

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or arrive at work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don’t:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Do not share objects that touch your mouth. For example, bottles and cups
  • Do not shake hands
  • Don’t have visitors to your home, unless they are helping with your care needs

Treatment for COVID-19

There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID 19. The treatment approach involves alleviating symptoms and reducing the risk of others becoming infected. This includes:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Taking paracetamol to help with symptoms such as a high temperature
  • Staying in isolation away from other people until you have recovered

Further information

For further information you can visit the following websites:

Further information on latest updates can be found on the Government’s website.

The Croí Health team are determined to stay connected with all our groups and supporters and aim to keep you informed and up to date on a regular basis. We will continuously explore the latest evidence on COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease and will share this important information with you.

Everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of this virus and if we all take collective responsibility we will minimise the risk for everyone.

Mayo Farmers Month

Farmers project - resources page banner

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, along with Healthy Ireland, Pobal and Teagasc, invite the Mayo farming community to get involved and make heart healthy changes this Mayo Farmers Month, launching Dec 29. See the free resources below!

Health & Mind

Mental Health Resources

  • Alone is good for older people who are lonely. alone.ie. 0818 222 024 low cost number 8-8. Email: hello@alone.ie
  • Depression & Bipolar Disorder Support. www.aware.ie. Tel:  Freephone 1800 80 48 48 (available 7 days, 10am-10pm). Email: supportmail@aware.ie
  • Awareness Head to Toe is a completely voluntary committee formed to promote mental health, general heath and farm safety awareness throughout the rural community. https://awarenessheadtotoe.com/
  • Pieta House. Free therapeutic support to people who are in suicidal distress and those who engage in self-harm. T: 1800 247 247. W: pieta.ie
  • The Samaritans. Samaritans is a unique charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. They’re there 24/7, before, during and after a crisis and they make sure there’s always someone there, for anyone who needs someone. samaritans.org/ireland email: jo@samaritans.ie. Call 116 123.
  • 50808 is a free 24/7 text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis – big or small. Text HELLO to 50808 to start a conversation, any time – day or night. https://text50808.ie/
  • ifa.ie/mental-health
  • mentalhealthireland.ie
  • reachout.com
  • spunout.ie
  • hse.ie/mental-health

Co. Mayo Resources

  • Family Centre Castlebar. Call 094 9025900
  • Community psychology for children & Adolescents. Call 094 9042281
  • Child & Adolescent Mental Health service. Call Ballina 096 20399 / Castlebar 0949042656
  • Adult mental health service. Call 094 9042621 (Admin office)
  • Mindspace Mayo is a free and confidential support service for young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Mindspace’s aim is to support young people age. https://www.mindspacemayo.ie
  • Mayo University Hospital 094 9021733
  • Additional information for further counselling and support services please see mayobewell.ie
  • Emergency services 999 or 112

FREE Heart Health Webinar for Farmers

On Thursday, January 21st at 7pm, Croí held a free webinar on heart health. Experts from the Croí Health Team shared information on diet, exercise and lifestyle. Watch it here now!

Government-of-Ireland-Logo

The Healthy Ireland Fund supported by the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Mayo Farmers Month – A Healthier You for 2021

Farmers project - Press release page banner

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, along with Healthy Ireland, Pobal and Teagasc, invite the farming community in Mayo to get involved and make heart healthy changes this Mayo Farmers Month, launching December 29.

Looking after your overall health and wellbeing is important for everyone, but especially for farmers as they are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke says local heart and stroke charity, Croí, ahead of Mayo Farmers Month this January.

Almost half of Irish farmers have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and 86% are overweight or are living with obesity – all major risk factors! Despite knowing all these numbers and statistics, Irish farmers identify themselves as “healthy”.

Farmers have historically been seen as a physically active group, but daily “sitting time” for farmers can be as high as 8+ hours. “We know that the occurrence of heart disease, cardiac events and stroke is significantly higher among Irish farmers compared to other groups of employees,” says Croí Physiotherapist, Denise Dunne.

To mark Mayo Farmers Month, Croí invites you to attend a FREE virtual Webinar on Thursday January 21st at 7pm to learn more about heart health, stress management and overall health and wellbeing with a panel of local nursing and allied health professional experts.

Announcing details of the event, Dunne says: “This is a great opportunity to learn more about the medical and lifestyle risk factors for heart disease and stroke, the impact these risk factors can have on your overall health and wellbeing and more importantly the steps you can take to reduce your risk. People usually think of cardiovascular disease as an older person’s problem but small changes matter and it’s never too late to start.”

Check out the Croí website at www.croi.ie/farmers for lots of free resources and to register for the free webinar. Or call Croí on 091-544310 to reserve your space.

Press release button
Government-of-Ireland-Logo

The Healthy Ireland Fund supported by the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs

A Christmas Message from Croí CEO, Neil Johnson

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I would like to take this opportunity to convey our sincere thanks to all those who supported us through this past year. It has been a very difficult year for everyone, not least those living with or affected by cardiovascular diseases (heart, stroke, diabetes & obesity). The Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll in so many ways, it’s almost impossible to comprehend just how things have changed so quickly.

Like all charities, this year Croí faced unprecedented challenges at a time when it was most needed by those it supports. All face-to-face activity across our health programmes, patient and carer supports, research, education and fundraising events came to an abrupt halt in March. Literally overnight, our Heart & Stroke Centre in Newcastle became an empty shell, so in support of the national emergency we offered it to the HSE for use as a central contact tracing centre. Then our health team swung into action and pivoted as many of our health programmes and patient supports as possible to online ‘virtual’ delivery. In fact, they managed to very quickly create and deliver very effective programmes to high-risk groups and even launched a first-in-Ireland approach to services like cardiac rehabilitation. Additionally, despite all the challenges, we are glad to now be providing ‘virtual’ delivery of exercise classes, lifestyle change programmes, stroke support meetings and much more.

The biggest impact of Covid-19 globally has been on those living with known cardiovascular conditions. In the early days of the pandemic, extremely high levels of fear, anxiety, loneliness and isolation was experienced by those for whom access to primary and secondary care was severely interrupted; hospital appointments and procedures were postponed or cancelled and visits to those in hospital or care homes was denied. In parallel, many people experienced heart and stroke events but due to their fears of contracting the virus they delayed or even avoided seeking medical attention with resulting worse outcomes. Against this background we experienced a huge jump in the number of calls we were receiving from patients and family members so we launched a free support service, Heartlink West, which has now supported thousands of people across the West via daily telephone, online and virtual consultations. This new service allows people living with heart disease and stroke, or those concerned about their heart health, to contact Croí and connect with our multidisciplinary health team of nurses, dietitians, physiotherapists and exercise specialists. While the Heartlink West service will close for a short period over the Christmas holidays, it will open again on January 6th. (Tel 091-544310 or www.croi.ie)

Despite all the challenges and uncertainties faced by everyone over the past year, we are inspired and heartened by the many who continued to contribute financially at a time when they themselves were struggling. We couldn’t survive without this partnership and we wish to convey our deep appreciation and gratitude to all our donors, volunteers, corporate and business supporters who continued to give this year despite their own very difficult circumstances. We got through 2020 thanks to huge public support and a highly dedicated and committed staff, voluntary board of directors and a large team of volunteers. We don’t take this support for granted and we realise how fortunate we are to have this. We are preparing now for 2021 and we are committed to continuing to make a difference to the lives of those living with or affected by heart disease and stroke.

 

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and the very best for the new year.

Many thanks,

 

Neil Johnson,
Chief Executive, Croí

Raffle Winners 2020

Golden Ticket Prize Draw

The Annual Croí Golden Ticket Raffle results were announced on Monday, December 21. The draw took place at 4:00pm in Croí House, with a total prize fund of €5,000.

 

Raffle Winners Announced! Huge congratulations to our winners:

1st prize, €2,000 – winner is Brendan Mulligan, Galway
2nd prize, €1,000 – winner is Catherine Owens, Galway
3rd prize, €500 – winner is Tina Connolly, Galway
4th prize, €250 – winner is Jimmy Brennan, Galway
5th prize, €250 – winner is Martin Bourke, Mayo
6th – 15th prize, €100 – winners are: Pat Duffy, Galway; Eoin Kennington, Galway; Marian ní Neachtain. Galway; Teresa Murphy; Michael McElwaine, Donegal; Martin Gaffey, Galway; Anne Treacy, Roscommon; Joey Carroll, Cork; Mason Makensie, Donegal; Alice Cunnane, Mayo.

Seller’s prizes, winning a €500 Corrib Oil voucher: Wilf Regan, Galway; Michael Loughrey, Galway; Maureen Butler, Mayo.

We are delighted to announce that the 2020 Croí Golden Ticket Raffle has raised an incredible €90,000, making this our biggest raffle ever and our biggest fundraising event of 2020!

Thank you to everyone who purchased or sold tickets. This year, we introduced an online option, which allowed our sellers to continue to support this appeal during these “socially-distant” times. We are overwhelmed by the incredible support shown by our loyal supporters after what was our most challenging year in fundraising. A big thanks also to our sponsors Coen Steel and Corrib Oil for their generous support of the prizes.

Raffle webpage
NIPC

Two in a Row: Galway-based charity wins Research Paper of the Year!

NIPC
Prof J William McEvoy, Medical and Research Director, NIPC

The National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC), based in the Croí Centre, Galway, has won the Research Paper of the Year Award at the 2020 Irish Healthcare Awards for the second year in a row!

NIPC, a subsidiary of Croí, was awarded the winning research paper for their JAMA-published medical paper challenging recent guidelines defining high blood pressure. The NIPC and NUI Galway investigation, led by Prof J William McEvoy, Medical and Research Director of the NIPC, called into question the validity of recent changes to treatment recommendations for a certain type of blood pressure patient, highlighting that up to 150,000 Irish patients may not need this additional treatment.

Announced on December 1, the Irish Healthcare Awards recognise innovation and excellence in the Irish healthcare sector and are Ireland’s leading Awards, now in their 19th year. Speaking about the awards, Neil Johnson, NIPC & Croí CEO, said: “We are delighted to win this award for the second year in a row! It’s great recognition for Irish cardiovascular disease prevention and the important work being undertaken at NIPC and NUI Galway.”

This award adds to NIPC’s winning streak at the Irish Healthcare Awards – in 2019, Croí and NIPC scooped three top awards. Learn more about the work at the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health by visiting www.nipc.ie.

vaccine

Patients Voice Concerns over COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritisation

Croí joins Patient Organisations to Urge Government to Prioritise People with Chronic and Rare Diseases, of All Ages, in Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccines

A coalition of patient organisations, including Croí, has today written to An Taoiseach and to the Chair of the High-Level Task Force on Vaccination and Immunisation to urge that people with chronic and/or rare diseases, of all ages, be treated as the highest priority in determining early vaccine recipients. Already, many countries around the globe are including this group as a top priority and it is vital that Ireland likewise recognises the importance of doing so.

The coalition is also calling for representatives from the public to be allowed join the membership of the Task Force and for patient organisations and vulnerable group leaders to be urgently engaged in dialogue.

The coalition of fifteen patient organisations comprises: Alone, Alpha 1 Foundation, Asthma Society of Ireland, COPD Support Ireland, Diabetes Ireland, Disability Federation of Ireland, Family Carers Ireland, Irish Cancer Society, Irish Heart Foundation, IPPOSI, Mental Health Ireland, The Neurological Alliance of Ireland, Rare Diseases Ireland, Sage Advocacy, and The West of Ireland Cardiac and Stroke Foundation.

Vaccination Priority

Derick Mitchell, Chief Executive of IPPOSI (the Irish Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science and Industry), comments:

“Many chronic and/or rare disease patients manage one or more life-threatening and/or life-limiting conditions. Many have been cocooning since news of the pandemic broke in early 2020. This has had devasting effects for patients and their families – emotional, physical, and financial.

“These are patients who cannot participate in the ‘new normal’ in any way, they cannot ‘risk it’. They cannot rely on social distancing, on mask wearing, or on hand sanitising. To protect their physical health, they must cocoon or self-isolate – completely, indefinitely, and some alone.

“Patients have endured this level of isolation for ten months now and it is critical that they not endure this for a moment longer than is absolutely necessary. We strongly urge the Government and the High-Level Task Force to consider the needs of some of the most vulnerable in society, of all ages, when making its final decisions as to what groups will receive immediate vaccination priority.”

Task Force Membership

Vicky McGrath, Chief Executive of Rare Diseases Ireland, comments:

“The welcome developments announced in recent weeks by several COVID-19 vaccine candidates are forcing us as a society to address some difficult questions.

“As things stand, dialogue and decisions around the priority groups in line for future COVID-19 vaccines are being taken by a select number of departmental and public authority officials. The 15-member task force includes the Department of Health, the HSE, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, the Health Regulatory Authority, the IDA, the Dublin Airport Authority, but not a single representative from the public, or from patient or vulnerable groups. We are therefore calling for the appointment of two representatives from the public to join the membership of the Task Force and for patient organisations and vulnerable group leaders to be included in an ongoing dialogue.”

Kieran O’Leary, Chief Executive of Diabetes Ireland, adds:

“We all recognise that, at least initially, there may not be enough vaccines for a widespread immunisation programme. Demand between countries, and within countries, will outstrip supply. Nationally, we will have to prioritise who receives the first allocation of vaccines.

“Allocation must be made on the basis of agreed ethical values and clinical evidence, in a transparent and accountable environment, where public, patient and vulnerable group representatives are able to voice the perspectives of the most at risk in our society.”

Distressing Time

Benat Broderick, Cystic Fibrosis patient advocate, shares:

“As a person living with Cystic Fibrosis, the pandemic has left me with no other choice but to cocoon since early February, due to the risk posed to my personal health. As others have benefitted from an easing of restrictions or a return to a new normal, I however, continue to endure a very worrying and draining set of circumstances. My only hope of re-joining society in any meaningful way, is access to a vaccine. I therefore fully support the call for patients and vulnerable people to be placed among those in the highest category for vaccination.”

Christmas Cards

Send Hope and Love this Christmas with Croí Cards

Inspired by the hopeful words of Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, Croí has launched its 2020 Christmas Card Collection, featuring extracts from the President’s poem, Take Care:

In the journey to the light,

the dark moments

should not threaten.

Hold firm.

Take care.

Come home

together.

The special 2020 edition cards (12 total) feature new images, including a stunning snowy photograph of the Long Walk in the Claddagh, Galway, and the majestic Mount Errigal in Donegal. All cards carry words from the poem Take Care and a Christmas greetings in both Irish and English. The pack costs just €6.99, with all proceeds supporting Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, in the fight against heart disease and stroke. Cards are printed in Ireland, supporting Irish jobs.

It’s been a tough year. Let your loved ones know that you are thinking of them, especially if you cannot be with them this Christmas. Send hope and love with a Croí Christmas card.

The 2020 Croí Christmas cards are available to purchase through local outlets or online at www.croi.ie/ChristmasCards.