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.

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 Let’s fight heart disease and stroke together, one step at a time.

Local Medtech Company Announces Community Partnership

Pictured from left: Teresa Murray, HR Manager, Surmodics; Tom Greaney, COO, Surmodics; Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman, Croí; Gary Maharaj, CEO, Surmodics; Teri Sides, Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer, Surmodics; and Patricia Hall, Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist, Croí. Pic Gerry Stronge.

Ballinasloe based leading medical devices company Surmodics have just announced a unique community partnership with local heart and stroke charity, Croí. Commencing this year and continuing for the next five years, Surmodics have committed a significant financial contribution to Croí by way of support for Croí’s out-of-hospital stroke support programme.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. In Ireland, an estimated 10,000 people have a stroke-related event every year with as many as 7,000 per year requiring hospitalisation. There are an estimated 30,000 people living in the community with disability as a result of stroke, making it the biggest cause of acquired disability in Ireland.

Since opening its centre five years ago in Newcastle Galway, Croí has broadened its mission to include stroke. Over the past few years Croí has been developing out-of-hospital supports for stroke survivors and their carers. Tom Greaney, Chief Operating Officer at Surmodics, commented:

“We look forward to working closely with Croí to help build their out-of-hospital stroke support programme. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for Surmodics to support Croí’s mission to prevent disease, save lives and promote wellbeing, a mission that Surmodics as an organisation also shares. We are proud to support Croí and play a part in the great work that they do for our community,” says Greaney.

Welcoming the Surmodics 5-year pledge to support Croí, Kevin O’Reilly, Chairman of Croí, said “We are indebted to Surmodics for this very generous and significant commitment. We aim to utilise this contribution by developing and expanding our stroke survivor post-hospital discharge support offerings in the area of education, carer support, risk factor management, survivor empowerment, and communications rehabilitation.

We aim to facilitate monthly community stroke support meetings in Galway and Mayo and we plan to design, develop and test an evidence based self-management and self-care programme to help stroke survivors live the best possible life they can.”

Mr O’Reilly went on to say that “In recent years, there have been significant advances made in hospital-based stroke care with many more people today surviving a stroke.

The significant needs of stroke survivors and their carers post hospital discharge however are very varied, and unfortunately at both a local and national level, community based supports are greatly in need of resources.

Stroke survivors have huge needs in term of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and psychological support and Croí’s efforts in this regard are in early stage development.

This generous gift from Surmodics will greatly assist our work in this regard and will make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of people impacted by stroke in our community. We are indebted to the management and staff at Surmodics for partnering with us on this important work, and it is great to see a successful local company getting involved in their local community in this way.”

Raise the Flag on Heart Failure this May




This May, it’s time to take action and raise the flag on the danger signs and symptoms of heart failure.

Heart failure is a specific heart condition with many causes, the most common being heart attack, heart disease, heart valve disease, high blood pressure, an irregular heart rhythm, certain infections of the heart, or heart problems you were born with. Heart failure affects over 26 million people worldwide, and is increasing in prevalence. As many as 1 in 5 people over the age of 40 will develop heart failure in their lifetime. It occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Heart failure is a chronic and often complex condition which can take years to develop or it can happen quickly at times.

The earliest symptoms of heart failure are often very subtle, but it’s dangerous to ignore them. Early diagnosis of heart failure is very important so as to ensure optimal treatment, and this can significantly benefit those living with the condition. That’s why Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, are joining with The Global Heart Hub and over 20 organisations across 15 counties worldwide to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart failure.

On May 10th and on the following three Fridays (May 17th, May 24th and May 31st), we invite you to join us and raise a red flag on heart failure. By raising a red flag, we aim to highlight the danger signs and symptoms of heart failure. For those experiencing these symptoms, we encourage them to visit their GP and to ask the question “Could I have heart failure?”

Unfortunately, awareness of risk factors and the signs and symptoms of heart failure is very low across the world. Red flag symptoms include breathlessness, fatigue and swollen limbs. Signs of heart failure may also be associated with an underlying heart problem. Heart failure signs and symptoms may include:

  • Coughing/wheezing
  • Extreme tiredness or no energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • More frequent urination, especially at night
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath, even when lying down
  • Swelling in the ankles/feet/stomach
  • Weight gain over a short period of time (>2kg over 2 days)

By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have one or more of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, you should visit your GP and ask the question “Could I have heart failure?”.