Irish Heart Foundation Applauded for Excellent Post Surgery Support

Irish Heart Foundation
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A campaign is underway to strengthen state funding for patient support services provided by the Irish Heart Foundation, which a resident of Athlone attributes to aiding in her recovery from surgery. Locals are encouraged to urge their elected representatives to pledge support for funding to ensure the ongoing availability of these vital services.

Levina Reeves, a 49-year-old native of Athlone now residing in Athleague, has praised the assistance she received from the Irish Heart Foundation following her heart surgery. Despite maintaining excellent physical health and adopting a proactive lifestyle, she rarely sought medical attention from her GP. However, she had been experiencing chronic stress for approximately five years.

In December 2019, Levina contracted the flu, and her health rapidly began to decline within a matter of days. She also developed pneumonia and sepsis, leading to a diagnosis of a rare condition known as circumferential pericardial effusion with right ventricular impairment, characterized by an accumulation of excess fluid around the heart. Her journey began with heart surgery, followed by a six-week hospitalization and the initial stages of recovery, marking the start of a daunting and lengthy path ahead.

Upon her discharge from the hospital, she found a lack of patient resources until she discovered the Irish Heart Foundation. She stumbled upon the Patient Champions Programme, where shared knowledge and experiences greatly aided her. She expressed gratitude for the compassionate work of Pauline, the program facilitator, who adeptly manages the complexities of their circumstances.

Awareness and understanding of heart diseases and strokes are crucial elements of the program, aiming to shift people’s mindsets towards accepting their conditions. Before connecting with the Irish Heart Foundation, she felt isolated and overwhelmed, but now she advocates for their support services wholeheartedly, emphasizing the sense of community and empowerment found among like-minded individuals.

For many individuals, the support provided by the charity becomes their primary source of assistance following life-altering cardiac events such as heart failure, stroke, or other cardiac conditions. These practical, social, and emotional support services begin upon discharge from the hospital and continue for as long as needed.

Local residents are now encouraged to urge their elected representatives to sign an online pledge on, ensuring the availability of crucial annual funding amounting to €1.2 million.

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