Niall Nugent is getting back to living after heart failure diagnosis

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 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 live. “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.”

Heart Failure Awareness week runs from Oct 4th – 10th. For more information, click here.

Croí Courtyard Apartments Revamped for Families in Need

Croí, the heart and stroke charity, provides a vital accommodation service to the families of loved-ones receiving heart or stroke care in Galway, recognising the important role loved-ones play in a patient’s recovery. The three ground-floor Courtyard Apartments at Croí House offer a free place to stay just a ten-minute walk from Galway University Hospital.

The Courtyard Apartments at Croí are in high-demand and open all year-around, with Croí supporting over 100 families each year from across Ireland and the globe. The apartments offer a safe and comfortable place for families to stay during a very difficult time, when their loved-one is receiving heart or stroke urgent care.

With thanks to the generosity of Aurivo, the globally-focussed Agribusiness which is headquartered in the North West of Ireland, funds raised through the co-op’s Charity of the Year Programme have contributed to a recent refurbishment of the Courtyard Apartments, which are beautifully revamped and ready to welcome families once again. Over the course of 2019, Aurivo employees organised many fundraising events in aid of Croí, with funds generously matched by the co-op.

Commenting on the re-launch of the Courtyard Apartments, Donal Tierney, Aurivo CEO said: “Aurivo is delighted to give back to the local community and support Croí and their work. This charity is close to our hearts as some of our staff and their families have benefitted from their services. We take great pride in our Charity of the Year Programme and it is an important part of our Corporate Social Responsibility and Origin Green Sustainability Strategy.”

Pictured from left: Raymond Barlow, Chairman, Aurivo, Neil Johnson, CEO, Croí, Donal Tierney, CEO, Aurivo; Marilyn Philips, Group Head of Human Resources; Christine Flanagan, Director of Fundraising, Croí.

Aurivo witnessed first-hand the importance of the Courtyard Apartments when a member of their team required the service. Energy Manager, Marty Dervin, from Ballina, has worked with Aurivo for over 30 years. He travelled to Galway in February 2019 after experiencing a problem with his heart stents. Marty, who suffered a heart attack in 2011, had previously been unaware of the Courtyard Apartments: “Croí facilitated me and my family with a place to stay and the opportunity to have my procedure carried out on the day rather than a reappointment with prolonged anxiety and waiting. It is brilliant to have a facility like this in Galway. I am delighted that Aurivo supported Croí as our Charity of the Year for 2019. Croí is close to our hearts.”

Speaking at the re-launch of the Courtyard Apartments, Croí CEO Neil Johnson said: “This generous support by Aurivo and our community will allow Croí to continue to provide much-needed accommodation for people at a time when they need to be as close as possible to a loved-one. We could not provide these facilities without this support, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their incredible and continuing contributions.”

To learn more about the Courtyard Apartments at Croí, please see here.

Croí Corrib Cycle Announces Exciting New Routes for 2021

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN FOR CROÍ!

Croí, the heart and stroke charity, has announced the return of its annual Croí Corrib Cycle with a special, limited-capacity ride-out taking place on Sunday, July 11.

Following last year’s cycle cancellation due to COVID-19, the hugely popular fundraising event is returning with an exciting new innovation for 2021 which will see the cycle starting and finishing in the picturesque village of Maam Cross. 2021 is the 27th year of the Croí Corrib Cycle and Croí is especially proud that Corrib Oil has been its primary sponsor during all of that time, since the very first ride-out in 1995.

With so many people eager to get out and see the world again, and with such a picturesque itinerary and a great cause to support, interest is expected to be intense this year. In line with COVID-19 guidelines, places will be limited to a maximum of 300 participants and start times will be staggered to allow for social distancing.

Participants are therefore being urged to sign up early to secure their spot on the start line in Maam Cross – simply visit www.croi.ie/cycle or contact fundraising@croi.ie

There will be two scenic routes to choose from – an 80km and a 110km option. Both routes will start and finish within the grounds of Peacockes Hotel in Maam Cross. The 80km route will take cyclists from Maam Cross, towards Leenane, along Loch na Fooey, towards Finny, Clonbur, Cornamona and finishing back in Maam Cross. The 110km route will take cyclists along a similar starting route before venturing to Toormakeady, Maumtrasna, Clonbur and returning to Maam Cross.

Ride On!
Christine Flanagan, Croí Fundraising Director, is thrilled to be hosting events in the real world once more:

“We are delighted that our first physical fundraising event of the year will be our cycle on July 11. This cycle is synonymous with Croí and we are really looking forward to getting people back safely on their bikes and on the roads around Maam Cross. All funds raised from this event are vitally important to us to ensure that we can continue our work at Croí, leading the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.”

Registration costs €150, of which €50 is to be paid upon registration. Participants then have the option to either fundraise the additional €100 or pay the full amount on registration. Roadside assistance, support vehicles, refreshment stops and post-cycle food will be provided on the day, with social distancing and safety precautions uppermost in mind. All registered cyclists will receive a specially-designed Croí cycle jersey, water bottle and face covering, as well as being entered into a raffle to win a fantastic cycling equipment package courtesy of West Side Cycles.

Register now at www.croi.ie/cycle

Galway Night Run: Race The Prom In Aid Of Croí

Galway Night Run: Everyone welcome to race the Prom, in aid of Croí

Terry Small from Castlegar, Galway, is busy training for his second Croí Night Run, having completed his first 5km Night Run last year. “I really enjoyed it! I jogged half the distance and then walked the rest. I hadn’t won a medal in years… I love showing it off,” says Small.

Terry was referred to Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, in 2017 after having a stent inserted following a heart attack. He started with Croí’s Active Heart Cardiac Rehab programme and now continues to attend Croí’s exercise programmes every Tuesday. “I wasn’t doing much exercise before, but now I am as fit as I can be,” says Small.

The Annual Galway Night Run in aid of Croí is one of the charity’s biggest fundraising events and it caters for all ages and abilities (competitive runners, family walkers, beginner joggers, etc.). Join Terry and his two daughters for the Night Run on Friday, October 11 at 8pm on the Salthill Prom. This year promises to be even bigger and better to celebrate the 5th anniversary, with music and entertainment at the start and finish line. The run will be chipped timed and everyone will receive a medal!

Thanks to the support of our sponsor Evergreen Healthfoods and media partner iRadio, 100% of the proceeds go directly to supporting Croí services and supports in the community. This includes heart and stroke prevention and recovery programmes, education and training programmes, and supporting the Courtyard Apartments at Croí House which offer free accommodation and support for the relatives of those receiving heart or stroke care at Galway University Hospitals.

Regular entry is €35, with discounted entry for students, youth and over 65s. Under 12s are welcome for free, but strictly must be under the supervision of an adult. Registration is open at www.croi.ie/nightrun. Join us and help Croí continue to lead the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.