Let’s focus on living because even with heart failure you can still be you. Don’t let heart failure stop you. #HeartFailureAwareness
In September 2020, Niall Nugent’s life changed dramatically. Without any warning signs, he suffered a “widow-maker” heart attack, which had huge consequences for him and his family. Due to the damage to the heart muscle following the heart attack, Niall was later diagnosed with heart failure.
Niall, aged 49, is determined to manage his condition and get back to living a normal life. Speaking of his diagnosis, Niall said, “After my diagnosis, I told myself I would do whatever it takes not to be in this position again”. He has transformed his lifestyle with significant changes to his diet and exercise routine. “I have got back on the bike… I wouldn’t have cycled for over 30 years and now I am cycling on a regular basis. I am also going to learn how to swim. I am doing more exercise now than I ever did before.”
Heart failure is a serious chronic condition but there are lots of things that you can do to help manage your condition, including adjusting your lifestyle, medical treatments and self-management.
Niall has experienced the benefits of Croí since he joined the Croí MySláinte Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme in 2020. The programme gave him the information, support and advice needed to return to everyday life after his cardiac event.
“From the very start, Croí has been a life-saver for me. They have helped me to learn how to live with this condition and everything I learned from them was a huge benefit. The resources and information they gave me will support me for the rest of my life.”
Two years on, Niall tells us, “My life since my heart attack has improved somewhat. My steps and distance are improving all the time, and I’m able to do more in my job. Physically I’m ok most days but it can be difficult mentally sometimes. It’s very challenging trying to come to terms with the actual heart event (I’ll never forget it) and then everything after it. It’s a ripple effect. Everything I knew before has changed and is completely different now.
My heart event turned my life upside-down but I have had to adapt. With my cardiology team and Croí, I am living my life as best I can.”
Heart Failure Awareness Week 2022 runs from May 9th – 15th.