This September, the RTE Sunday Game presenter wants to encourage all of Ireland to unite and Stand Up to Heart Failure.
The RTE sports presenter was diagnosed with heart failure in 2012, something that affects more than 90,000 people in Ireland.
Heart Failure is a debilitating, life-threatening condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood around the body because the muscle of the heart becomes too weak or too stiff to work properly.
However, with access to timely diagnosis, appropriate medical management, and follow-up services, a patient’s prognosis can be significantly improved.
Heart failure is a very manageable condition if caught and treated early
Campaign ambassador Michael Lyster opened up about his own experience with heart failure at the launch:
“Croke Park has a capacity of 82,300. But if everyone in Ireland living with heart failure was invited to Croke Park for the All Ireland final, we would have to build an extra stand as there are 90,000 people living with this chronic condition, and they certainly wouldn’t be standing in the Hill for the duration of a 70-minute game.
For me, heart failure became apparent in the middle of my ‘busy’ season, championship time, and gradually I started feeling worse and worse.
I had no energy, I was waking up in the middle of the night panting for breath.
“It was important for me to get involved in this campaign as I understand how frustrating it can be for those living with heart failure, as it is often a forgotten condition.
“Heart failure is something you can manage on a day to day basis. Yes, you have to make sure you take your medication, watch what you eat and drink and get your exercise. But you can’t let it hold you back. I had to stand up to my condition, not let it impact my work or my life.
“I encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with the symptoms and risk factors, and to visit your doctor if you have concerns and to make sure you get the best treatment available.”
If you are worried about heart failure please speak to your doctor or speak to our National Heart & Stroke Helpline nurses on 1800 25 25 50 available Mon – Fri 9 am – 5 pm, Thurs till 7 pm.
Irish Heart is here to offer support and advice to anyone effected by the condition.
Stand Up to Heart Failure, a campaign supported by Croí, Heartbeat Trust, Irish Heart, and Novartis.